Day 75 – The Trail-iest Magic
I woke up to my phone alarm going off at 8:30. I half expected a knock (poke?) on my tent flap from a park ranger saying, “Sorry but you can’t camp in this parking lot,” but it was an uneventful night. There were a couple cars already parked when I woke up, but I was undisturbed.
Breakfast was a monster energy, pop-tarts, and Nutella. I only had a few ounces of water left and 3.6 miles to the next source so that was the first thing on the list to cross off. I set off fueled by a caffeine high just before 10:00 a.m. and made it to Blackrock Hut (my intended destination the night prior) quickly. After a refill on water, a snack, and a cold soak, I was back on the trail.
Rabbit and I had planned to meet at a wayside along the road for burgers. I made excellent time despite my late start. Along the way I saw a large deer on trail who I was within a few strides of touching before she stepped off trail to let me pass. I also listened to a lot of music today.
All the music downloaded on my phone is at least 15 years old (no need to keep downloading with modern day streaming apps). It’s a pretty eclectic mix of anything and everything. From All-American Rejects to the Allman Brothers, Jack Johnson to the Jackson 5, Queen to Queens of the Stone Age (you get the idea). While shuffling all songs, Metallica’s song “Fuel” came one. The song goes: “Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.” Clearly a song about “hiker-hunger” if I’ve ever heard one.
Feeling inspired, I stopped off at a general store for a soda and an ice cream sandwich (ie: hiker fuel). Two miles later I’d caught up with Rabbit at the wayside for burgers and the best Blackberry shake I’ve ever had (maybe also the only blackberry shake, but that’s besides the point). We rested with Highlight (who prefers that I now call her “Lowlight”) and “Theme Song” for close to an hour.
Rabbit and I hiked on to Pinefield Gap where our hosts “The Millers” were picking us up after their hike in the Shenandoahs. Mrs. Miller messaged me on Facebook over a month ago offering to assist in any way possible with my thru-hike. I’m so glad I accepted her offer. She and her husband are truly wonderful people and am so glad to have met them.
They picked us up and drove us to Torchy’s Tacos in Charlottesville for dinner. There’s a Torchy’s ten minutes from my home in San Antonio so it was like a taste of home. The Millers are from Austin originally, so we had a lot of Texas things to talk about.
They let Rabbit and I crash in their home, do laundry, and play with all their dogs and cats. They are some of the most giving people I’ve met and have hearts of gold (despite what my girlfriend might think). After a great conversation around their dinner table, we went to sleep close to midnight.
Stow away in my pack for day 76 on the Appalachian Trail.
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