May 17 Der Rennsteig
The Rennsteig is a 1169.29 km (105.19 mile) hiking trail that dates back way into the 1300's when it was a border path between the Duchy of Bavaria and Thurnigen. The Rynnestig was first mentioned in 1330, in a border charter issued in Schmalkalden. The name itself is likely related to old high german jargon for "border".
It can also be used for bikepacking, and has a number of protection huts along the route that one can sleep at, one of the only places in Germany where this is accepted, maybe even celebrated.
I planned to go backwards from the traditional hiking direction in order to get more downhill at the end into Hoerschel, which wasn't a bad idea really. More on that later.
The trip started in Bayreuth, and with an 80ish km trip to a random forest hut I found on Komoot.
I managed to even find some pretty fun singletrack along the way!
When I finished the route, I was supposed to throw my stone into the other reiver, but it was closed so I had to go upstream and chuck it off a bridge with a bunch of locals staring at me.. Whatever.
I looked for a place to stay without luck, and then went back up the hill to the last shelter just in time to avoid a terrible thunderstorm. Super windy with sideways rain and dust. I was dry and happy in the shelter though, proceeding to eat all of my food I had left. Which was enough. One more night.