I hiked 21.5 miles today to a stealth site along Stony Creek with a small waterfall. The weather was about perfect for backpacking.
The first 6 miles this morning were all uphill generally, where I gained about 2,000 feet of elevation. This morning started with a walk along a highway, then past a large chemical plant and then a large landfill. I found the contrast to be confusing and perhaps disappointing in my mind. It is really hard to describe.
Then the trail got more level as I hiked a rocky ridge back in the woods finally. While in this section, I crossed a remote dirt road and two US Forest Service Law Enforcement Agents were there. They closed the road, but let hikers through. The reason they closed the road as far as I can tell, is that Mountain Valley Pipeline is putting in a new pipeline that will impact the AT but they allegedly used wrong maps or could not read them properly, so they impacted the AT in some way they should not have. This then triggered people to climb trees in protest and stay there in the pipeline construction area. US Forest Service is trying to stop them from getting food and water. This is what I heard, but who knows, I will have to research this.
Later in the day. I passed by a camp used by the AT Protectors, the protesters.
Towards evening, I descended into my scenic little camping spot. My dogs were barking today, which means the feet are sore.
Today, was a strong reminder that forces are in play all around the trail and the country for that matter that sadly threaten our natural spaces and our planet, including our existence.
On a positive note, I met hikers named: Cougar, 75, Beach Bum, Double Vision, Epic and others today.