Have you ever driven through Virginia? It may not be the biggest state in the union but when you are trying to go through it to get to another state it is the longest at least mentally.
I am convinced that there is a bubble that has been placed over the state that slows down time the closer you get to the edge of it. Don't believe me? Try driving from North Carolina to Maryland sometime up Highway 85 and 95.
At least walking you don't have to deal with the Virginia State Troopers every five miles.
The Appalachian Trail through the State of Virginia is 550 miles long. That is over 1/4 of the trail! If the time bubble applies to walking it the way it does driving by my math it will seem like 5.38 years to get to the NC/TN Border.