Hikers Get Free Drinks All Night

Bama➡️Baxter Day 97&98

Day 97: 24 miles

This morning we all woke up pretty early and broke down our stealth camp in the woods. I could see cars driving by and beginning to park by the Skyland wayside, which was pretty funny. Once we were packed up, we crawled out of the woods and walked the 100 yards to the Starbucks! What an epic way to start the day.

Drinking a morning Starbucks at the Skyland wayside in Shenandoah NP.

At Starbucks I got a coffee and a breakfast sandwich. Then I sat outside to eat and do some stretching. We ran into a few other hikers who had arrived this morning. We’ve been leapfrogging with a few familiar faces recently, which has been nice.

Posing on top of a cool rock at an overlook.

Around 9:00 a.m., we decided to finally set out and begin hiking for the day. The terrain was incredibly flat for the first few miles. Even the short climb that we had to do was graded so well you barely even got out of breath. Shenandoah National Park is fantastic. The miles really flew by and we took our first break of the day at a lovely overlook. I had packed out a coke, so I cracked it open up at the top. Whenever you crack a can open on trail it always feels incredible. Nothing hits like a soda in the middle of the woods.

Drinking a coke that I packed out at the top of a climb.

We continued on from there and wound up pushing about ten miles before our next break. There was a final wayside along our route today and we knew if we took too many breaks that we probably wouldn’t make it in time before the store closed. So we just kept on moving for a few hours to get there. Luckily the trail was so nice and cruisy that the time still went by pretty quick. Once we were about eight miles in, though, my body did begin to feel tired. We usually break every two hours or so, and your body really gets used to that.

Beautiful views in Shenandoah National park.

I was up ahead of the guys having a good time singing to myself and listening to music. When all of the sudden I saw a bear just off trail! At first I didn’t notice it because I had one headphone in. The bear was only maybe 10-15 feet away. I got a great chance to watch it walking around through the brush before it finally noticed me and ran off. I’ve seen so many bears so far along the AT which is something I’ve been very grateful for. Any time you get a chance to see a bear or another animal out in the woods you should feel lucky. It certainly doesn’t happen every day. I’ve met a few hikers who are 800+ miles in and still haven’t seen a single bear.

Around 4:00 p.m., we arrived at the final wayside in Shenandoah National Park, Elkwallow Camp Store. I’m going to miss these fantastic side quests for sure. When we arrived, I ordered a sandwich and a blackberry milkshake of course. Then the guys and I sat outside in the grass to eat and relax. Another hiker named Doodles was there who we’ve been seeing on and off today. He was nearby when I saw the bear earlier. And it was his first bear sighting which was cool!

The chilli dog, onion rings, and blackberry milkshake that I got at the Elkwallow wayside in Shenandoah.

The sign for the Elkwallow camp store in Shenandoah National park.

We stayed by the wayside for a while before continuing along. The plan was to do another five to seven miles today, which didn’t sound too bad. It was still pretty early. When we left the wayside, we walked along the AT for a few miles. Then the trail crossed skyline drive and we decided to walk the road for a few miles. It paralleled the AT for about ten miles, so we could pop on and off whenever we wanted to.

Sweet Pea and Boosted walking along skyline drive.

Skyline drive had tons of overlooks along it so it wound up being a bit more scenic than the AT which you might not expect. Plus sometimes you just need a change of pace. Being able to all walk alongside each other and talk for a while was nice. We all just talked and enjoyed not having to watch our step along the road. There was still a lot of uphill on the road but that was ok.

Our shadows along skyline drive.

After walking on the road for a while we popped back onto the AT and stayed on it for the rest of the day. The cushion of the dirt under your feet is definitely a lot more comfortable than the road. After we walked for a couple more miles, we began looking for a place to camp for the night. Nothing was marked on Far Out, but we assumed that we’d be able to find something.

Though after a while we started to realize that we weren’t going to be finding anywhere decent to camp. So we found a semi flat area and all wound up clearing out our own sites. Sometimes you have to get creative. I whipped out my knife and cut some small stems and what not to clear a space. In the end it looked like a half decent tent site for sure.

Beautiful views of the sunset along skyline drive.

Once we were set up, I retreated to my tent to stretch and relax. Then I ate a couple of snacks and talked with the guys a bit before we all called it a night.

Day 98: 13 miles

This morning we woke up around 6:30 a.m. and packed up. While we were getting ready to head out, we got passed by a few hikers. One of them was Animal, who we hadn’t seen since the Smokies! I thought that was super cool. It’s crazy how things play out on trail.

Boosted and Roxy hanging out before we started walking for the day.

Once we were all ready, we set out. There were only 13 miles to go to get to the road into Front Royal, VA. The only kicker was that there was a shuttle that would take us to town, which only came at certain times. The most convenient time would probably be 11:45 a.m., but we were going to have to rush to get there for sure.

To start off the day we pushed about six or seven miles. The terrain was nice and easy. We had to do a couple short climbs but other than that it was pretty flat and easy. We stopped off at a water source briefly and all ate something. Then we realized that if we wanted to make the 11:45 a.m. shuttle we would have to get moving. So we continued along and tried to keep our pace as fast as we could.

Great views from the top of our first climb of the morning. Only a few miles before the end of Shenandoah National park.

We only had seven miles to go to get to town, but we had to keep a pace of at least 3.5 miles an hour to get to the road in time. Luckily with the Shenandoah Park terrain was cruisy enough that we could definitely pull it off. All of us just kept on moving.

Once we were only a couple miles out, we realized we were going to be right on time. But we didn’t want to risk just missing the shuttle. So when we were about a quarter mile or so out, we jogged along a pretty flat section of trial. Jogging with a fully loaded backpack on is not a great choice. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And I’m so glad that we did, because when we arrived at the trailhead parking lot at 11:43 a.m., the shuttle was just pulling up. I think if we were even a few minutes later than that we probably would have missed the ride. Then we would have had to hitch into town or wait for the next shuttle a couple hours later.

The shuttle that brings hikers from the trailhead and into Front Royal, VA.

Roxy laying on the floor of the shuttle into Front Royal.

The shuttle driver drove like an absolute maniac, but they knew what they were doing. The shuttle whizzed along, making impeccable time. When the bus took sharp turns, Roxy slid across the floor of the shuttle because she was laying down on the ground. Once we got into Front Royal, we got dropped off in front of the local gear shop. Inside was another hiker 3P! Last time we saw him was in Waynesboro, VA just before we got into Shenandoah National Park. He was at the five start restaurant that the guys went to to grab drinks.

A mural outside of the gear shop in Front Royal.

After walking around the gear shop, we headed over to a nearby brewery for lunch. I got some loaded fries with beer cheese and pulled pork which were killer. Then Sweet Pea and I walked over to a motel in town to try and get a room for the night. We weren’t able to check in right away, but we got to drop off our packs. And from there I walked over to USPS to see about picking up the box that I bumped from Waynesboro. Fortunately, it was there! Thank god, because it had a few important things inside like a box of contact lenses.

I walked back to the motel after that and we were able to check into our room. Once inside we all showered up and got our laundry together. Then we walked over to fast food joint called Splunkers to grab a bite to eat. I got chili cheese fries and a milkshake. After that we headed to a nearby grocery store to do our resupply.

Chilli cheese fries from Splunkers in Front Royal.

When we finished up shopping, we had to walk back to the motel which was about a mile away. It was super hot outside so the guys sat on the curb and I stood in the parking lot trying to hitch. After a few cars we finally got a ride back to the motel! That was awesome and saved us a hot walk back.

Back at the room I washed my hair and deep conditioned with the fresh bottle of coconut oil that I just got. That’s an essential item for me on trail. My curly hair cannot go without oil. The guys picked up a bottle at the nearby liquor store and drank it in the room. I helped them out with it a bit as well. Then around 7:30 p.m., we walked to a nearby Thai food restaurant for dinner. My dad called in a gift card for me to the restaurant as a belated birthday present. That was super nice of him, and he wound up feeding all three of us, which was awesome. We split some appetizers and each got a delicious entree. I couldn’t resist getting a classic order of pad Thai.

The Thai iced tea that I got from the Thai food restaurant in town.

Then we walked back to the room briefly before we went out for the night. There was a place in town called On Cue where we cool play pool and darts. That sounded like a fun way to spend the night. When we first arrived we all got ID’d and had to get sent over to the bar to get ID’d a second time because we ate all from out of state. That was pretty hilarious. Especially considering the fact that I’m now 27 years old.

Boosted and Sweet Pea playing darts at On Cue in Front Royal.

Roxy sleeping on the floor in On Cue.

A few people came up to us inside the bar and asked about the trail. They could just tell that we were thru-hikers, which was cool. One couple, Bill and Sue (Goldilocks), chatted us up a lot. They were super nice and seem to do a lot for hikers. They wound up buying us a pitcher which was so kind. And then later on a guy came up to us and offered it buy us all a round of shots. We felt like true hiker royalty for sure. All of us were well taken care of all night. I think that Front Royal has been the nicest trail town that we’ve hit so far along the AT. Something like 27 different local businesses support the Appalachian trail and its hikers. The vibes in town were fantastic.

We wound up staying at the bar until just before it closed. Then we walked back to the room to chill for the rest of the night. The guys and I sat out on the curb for a long while and talked for ages. It was one of the best conversations that I’d had in a long while.

Then we wound up staying up super late watching some funny shows. We didn’t wind up calling it a night until almost 2:30 a.m., which was wildly late for us.

Wearing the classic buff as a shirt while we did our laundry in town.

Boosted and Sweet Pea joining me in wearing buffs as shirts.

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Comments 25

  • Marty : Jul 11th

    Nice mound , how many times those guys bend you over and thier way with you?

    • Jadon : Jul 11th

      What kind of comment is that lmaooo

    • thetentman : Jul 12th

      Hey Marty, you loser. Your Mom says hi and that she thinks you are a LOSER too.

      • Jack Hammer : Jul 12th

        Just listen as the white knight leaps to defend with his beta male hormones raging.. He hopes upon hope that his defense of her honor will garner him some form of gratitude.. He will sleep tonight believing the world is a better place thanks to him..

        • Marty : Jul 15th

          Amen brother – whores be co opting every trail and peak for social media clout.

    • Yermo : Jul 12th

      What a pathetic asshole.

    • Rams : Jul 14th

      What an idiotic comment

  • Jadon : Jul 11th

    Ngl the thumbnail made me think that was a dress you wore out

  • Maxine : Jul 11th

    “So we found a semi flat area and all wound up clearing out our own sites. Sometimes you have to get creative. I whipped out my knife and cut some small stems and what not to clear a space.”

    So much for the Leave No Trace Principles . . .

    • Jack Hammer : Jul 12th

      Boo-hoo, some sticks were cut down.. My god the world has become inundated with whiney leftist crybabies that use ever word said by anyone to virtue signal.. Just pathetic.

      • DickHertz : Jul 13th

        Only person whining here is you, ❄️.

    • Gato : Jul 12th

      Yeah, only massive corporations should be allowed to do anything. The rest of us should sleep on spikey rocks while they cut down rainforests.

    • DickHertz : Jul 13th

      She didn’t kill a bald eagle, ffs.

    • Connor Miletzki : Jul 21st

      Hey! I can’t see ya up there on ya high horse, come down here so I can slap some sense inta ya

  • thetentman : Jul 12th

    You got a Chili Dog in town You should change your Trail Na,e to Lucky.


    • thetentman : Jul 12th


  • Gato : Jul 12th

    Nice mound!

  • Amber : Jul 12th

    Cool stories, thanks for sharing beautiful pictures too! I hope you continue documenting, maybe don’t allow others to comment anymore?

  • Daniel Edwards : Jul 13th

    You get up through NY bear mnt area, be carefully! We had over 10″ of rain. Many rescues off the trail Sunday So many roads washed out

  • Charlotte : Jul 13th

    I love your posts! Bit disappointed in some of the negative, derogatory comments from people…you don’t deserve any of that. I really appreciate the pics and all the cool sights along the trail and off trail! All of you enjoy your travels together! My late 20s and 30s were a very fun time! Hope I meet some awesome, fun thru hikers when I do the trail. My journey at 70 won’t be quite as energetic, but I have no doubt I could easily keep pace on those zeros!!! Cheering you all on!

  • Antonio David : Jul 16th

    Omg the comments

  • Hannah : Jul 17th

    I met you on the trail at a shelter last Sunday! (I had the little brindle pup). Hope you and your tramily made out well in the storms and flooding! 💕

  • Simon : Jul 20th

    Another random social media THOT who gets pounded out on the regular by her two tools. Thru hiking in your mid 20s? My, what a hard life! Tough times for young American women. Oh well, be safe and all that.

  • Mr Natural : Jul 21st

    sorry about the misogynist incels – please continue posting pics of your adventure!

  • Bob : Jul 22nd

    When you climb down Katahdin, head to the Scootic Inn and say hi to Michelle.


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