For some reason I did not really feel all that energetic and I ended up taking a good nap along the way. That seemed to help a bit.
Every time I stopped it only took a minute and swarms of flys would be buzzing around me. They did not bite, but they still were annoying. However, they did seem to decrease significantly by the time I made it up to the ridge behind Verstovia.
I saw deer on 4 different occasions, though I would not be surprised if a couple of those times were the same deer. I spooked the first one in the clearing just up from Indian River Trail (where I had seen two deer a couple of weeks ago).
I discovered that a drawback to running shoes worn loose is that when walking across steep slopes there is a significant amount of lateral motion. My feet were burning by the time I had made it back to Verstovia trail. Fortunately I had no blisters.