Having spent the night, mostly sleepless, thinking about my aches and pains, I decided it was a good time to finish. 7 miles from the shelter was a good stopping point and I was going to have a nice climb out of a gap. All in all it was a spectacular last day. The climb was great and I felt good but achy. The weather was rainy, and misty rather like my fitst day of this adventure only warmer. I was glad I did the 7 miles and I am happy to be off the trail. It will alsways be here for me to finish and I will finish it in sections if need be. But by leaving earlier than the end has left me in a positive mode about hiking, backpacking and camping which is great. I feel like I am already planning out my next adventure and it will be closer to home.
I am now in the DC area and I will have a chance to explore some of the museums over the next few days thanks to the kindness of the people I met on the trail. I am also in healing mode. I need sleep, rest and veggies. I find I missed fresh fruit and vegetables on the trail so I will likely be loading up the next while. I will also be trying to keep weight off my knees, back and foot. They are the worst of my injuries. My back only hurts after wearing a pack, I think I may have wrenched it after tripping one time to many with the same foot. The knees always hurt, expecially after sitting still for long periods of time and my foot may have a stress fracture so it is only rare intermitent pain but makes it difficult to go over rocky spots for extended periods. Basically, I feel the trail will always be there for me to finish but if I damage my body I may not be able to finish. I feel I have stopped before any major damage has been done. Everything will heal with a little care and stretching.