Alright folks, here's the deal: I've moved on. To sum it up, I walked from Cherry Bend to Lick Branch on the OHT for about 22 miles, including a short out-and-back to Spy Rock. Lick branch is on the gravel road leading to the Little Mulberry put-in. I walked that road to Hwy 215 which runs east to west along the Mulberry. I followed that to Hwy 23 and turned north towards my car. Some concerned friends found me about a mile later and gave me a ride the rest of the way, which meant I would be back at camp just as the party really got rolling. All in all, I walked 37 miles in 14 hrs and generally had a good experience, despite some nasty lessons about hydration and foot care. No big deal. Sorry I don't have the energy to tell the dull story properly. Here are the rest of the pictures:
This was quite a hike. It was physically difficult, obviously, but it was also mentally and psychologically difficult. I learned things on this hike that I could only learn by pushing the time and distance as I did. I didn't realize how upsetting it would be to not be able to call my boy at his bed time because my phone had no signal. I didn't know how much risk I was willing to take to avoid drinking safe but terrible tasting water. I didn't think my mind would ever become so dull that it wouldn't occur to me that the campground at High Bank had a spigot. I didn't expect that I would become to lazy too repair a blister when I first noticed it just because it was dark outside. I surprised myself. At the end of the day, though, I'm calling the whole exercise a success and I can't wait for the next OHT death march. Sixty miles in 24 hours seems doable, doesn't it?