Hobbling to Roan, TN

I’ve been nursing my left leg along after that 44 mile marathon push.



Fairly sure it’s just really sore and inflamed. I did mildly roll it a couple times on the last portion of night hike. The third day after was the worst for swelling and soreness. It’s steadily getting better since, but after 5 miles it’s tough going again each day. The more rest I can give it the better for the long haul. I really want to be able to do the “Damascus Dash” Challenge, 40 miles, coming up soon.

Forest Fire and I decided to take an adjacent gravel road along the trail after Beauty Spot Mountain. It’s a bit further, but much easier going for me in regards to terrain and grade. I used all my water with a road side lunch and dinner the night before, after crossing over the summit with a lightening storm at my back.

I didn’t take the time to hit the only water source around near that summit, bad timing. I had to stoop to taking water from a road puddle in my filter the next day. It looked ok coming out the other end… Walking a bit further I was happy to see a good water source. So I dumped the muddy puddle water, cleaned the filter and restocked.

Somewhere around Unaka Mountain we decided to take a cut through between some switchbacks to shave a mile of road off. That’s right when a cool guy named Mark drove by, out went the thumb. He drove us into Roan, skipping close to 30 miles of the trail.

We landed at “The Station at 19e” where they have a tavern, lounge and hiker hostel. The music hall is due to be finished soon. There are a lot of renovations and upgrades going on here at the moment. The owner, Dave, has a great vision for the place. This is going to quickly become one of the top spots along the trail.

I gratefully repaid Mark with chicken wings and beer. He bought us a flight then busted out his glamping gear and grilled up some chicken and peppers for all, great stuff.

There’s another group of four we have all been leaping around for a few weeks. We simply call them “The Canadians”. Though two of their party, Trashalope and Noise Maker, aren’t Canadian.

The evening consisted of food, beer and debate with the Canadians about Socialism and Capitalism, health care, motivation and the human condition, amongst other ideological topics often brought up with our northernly neighbors. At one point I had to remind everyone it’s ok to disagree in lively discourse and still be friends… We ended the night with music, both Mark and Trashalope playing guitar together. I got everyone to try Shiner, a rare find out here, and they liked it, go Texas.

The next day the rest of the tramily (trail family) caught up. Slippy and Mouse Trap had a hard time of it with the rains.

And Little Bear (aka Long Shanks lol) found his way to the bunk house too.

He checked out my leg and gave me some advice. Basically, unless you think you have some serious injury or possible permanent damage, follow the RICE principles, and of course take an anti-inflammatory.

R – rest

I – ice

C – compression

E – elevation

4 thoughts on “Hobbling to Roan, TN

  1. Clay- RICE protocol is awesome! Also take 250 mg of magnesium. It helps immensely with inflammation and works better than any Alene or ibuprofen products. You can take up to 500 mg a day, take 250 am and 250 pm.
    Take good care and sending light and love for healing and good Trail magic!
    Rooting you on from Galway, Ireland! ☘️

    Liked by 1 person

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