Thru-Hikers at a Five Star Restaurant

Bama➡️Baxter Day 93&94

Day 93: 14.5 miles

This morning we all slept in a bit. We were in no particular rush because we were planning to nero into Waynesboro. Once everyone got up, we packed up and set out. There was a small bit of climbing to start off the day, but it wasn’t anything major. Then the rest of the day was very cruisy with just the occasional brief climb. You can’t ask for much more on the AT.

The views from the top of our first climb of the day.

We pushed out about seven or so miles before deciding to take our first break. But we couldn’t find any place good to stop off and rest. So we wound up sitting right along the trail by an overlook. Of course, there happened to be loads of day hikers out and about though. So we had to shift around a bunch of times to allow people to pass. The occasional person asked if we were all ok. But little did they know that we are just crazy thru-hikers. Sometimes when you need a break you just stop wherever you can.

The trail to an overlook, where we sat right on trail to take a much needed break.

We sat on the trail for a while before continuing on. Then about two miles down along the AT we passed the Paul Wolfe shelter. The Far Out photos made it look really nice, so we decided to take a look for ourselves. It was a nice and newer two-story shelter. There was a guy inside who was planning to zero at the shelter because there was a possible chance of rain later on in the day. Every now and again you run into people doing that. But this is the AT, so if you zero to wait out rain you may never actually get much hiking done. I find that you just have to roll with the punches and make the most of the weather.

Beautiful flowers just off the trail.

When we left the shelter, we only had about 4.6 miles to go to get to town. It was practically all flat trail or downhill other than the occasional spur of quick and steep uphill. But most of the climbs were less than .2 miles, so they were over before you knew it.

The chimney of an old homestead which is right along the AT.

We got to the road around 1:45/2:00 p.m. and realized immediately that it was going to be a tough hitch. The road was pretty fast and most of the cars driving by weren’t heading in the direction that we needed to go. Eventually Boosted gave a call to a local trail angel who apparently gives shuttle rides for a small fee. And lucky for us he said he’d come and pick us up right away. He brought us to the Quality Inn in Waynesboro, and we were able to split a room for $80. That’s a pretty great hiker rate. Especially when you’re splitting it three ways.

Blazes along the road where we hitched into Waynesboro, VA

A “Virginia is for lovers” hiker log book inside the car of the trail angel who picked us up and drove us to Waynesboro.

Once we checked in, we dropped off our packs and headed over to nearby restaurant The River. I got some delicious loaded fries as an appetizer and then a quesadilla for the main course.

Grabbing lunch at The River in Waynesboro, VA.

While we were hanging out there, I made a phone call to the CVS in town. Recently I had a box sent out to me by my mom, but today is a Sunday and tomorrow is a Monday holiday. So I’m not going to be able to pick up the box, which has my new contact lenses and birth control inside. I should be able to bounce the box ahead and get it at a later date. But I need the birth control in the next couple of days.

Fortunately, the CVS in a Waynesboro was able to fill my prescription even though I was out of refills. I just let them know the situation and they were incredibly helpful and accommodating. I didn’t even have to pay anything out of pocket, which was great.

So after we ate, I headed over there to pick up my prescription. I had been stressing about this situation over the last few days, so it was nice to have some resolution. Now I just have to wait for the post office to open on Tuesday so that I can call and have my box bounced to somewhere else along the trail.

While I was walking to CVS, I gave my dad a call and we talked for a while. Then I walked over to do my resupply at the nearby Neighborhood Walmart. I was in the phone with my dad the whole time I shopped, which was really nice. It can be hard to find the “time” to call home when you’re in town. I’ve found that it’s easier to talk to everyone if I combine the phone calls with my other town chores. So I usually try to call my parents or friends while I’m resupplying or doing laundry. That way it doesn’t feel like the phone calls are eating away at the time in town that you want to spend resting, eating, or lounging in the hotel room.

Our room in Waynesboro, VA.

After I finished grocery shopping, I headed outside to meet Sweet Pea and Boosted. And low and behold we ran into two other hikers, Smoke and Holy Shit. I figured that they would be way ahead of us because they didn’t go to trail days. But Smoke had been having some pain recently, so they slowed down.

Then we headed back to the hotel to pack up our food bags, shower, and get our laundry going. After we got the laundry in the washer the guys wanted to go out to grab a drink somewhere. But I wasn’t really in the mood to drink and was feeling lazy. So I hung out in the room and watched Roxy so that Boosted could go and enjoy himself without having to look after her.

The guys had only been at the restaurant for a few minutes when they texted me a photo of the menu. Lately I’ve been talking about how much I’m craving pasta, but very few places off the trail do Italian food. But the restaurant that they went to was really nice and had a large selection of pastas. I absolutely couldn’t miss my opportunity to eat some more carbs. So I put Roxy on her leash and we walked over to the restaurant together. She is such an absolutely phenomenal dog.

While we were along the street, she stayed to my side further away from the road. She followed every last direction I gave and it was a nice, easy walk over. It began to rain lightly, so I picked up my pace and she got excited and began to run along. So I decided to jog with her over to the restaurant. Running in the rain with Roxy was a blast and really made my whole night.

The place that the guys chose to eat at was incredibly fancy. Fortunately, there were only a couple other people inside eating, so we didn’t stick out too bad. I sat at the bar with the guys and they convinced me to drink. So I had a shot of tequila and ordered some pasta. It even came with a delicious little side salad which was a nice surprise.

The bar at the five star restaurant that the guys decided to go to for a drink.

While we were sitting at the bar, another hiker, 3P, came and sat with us. He’s hiking the trail solo at 17 years old and is such a character. We’ve run into him a couple times and I have such a soft spot for him. He’s so quirky and talks about some really funny stuff. At the bar he went on a rant about how much he likes deep V-neck shirts and was calling them “slutty V-necks.” You would’ve thought that he was drinking with the way he was bantering on and making wild comments. I was having such a good time talking with him and hanging out with the guys.

Tequila shots at the bar.

Before leaving, I decided to do a final shot of tequila. Then we all set out together to walk back to the hotel. When we got back, I realized that we totally forgot about the laundry! So I ran over to put it in the dryer before they locked the laundry room for the night.

Back at the room we all relaxed and watched some TV. And later on we decided to go for one final late-night walk to get milkshakes at Cook Out. At first, they wouldn’t let us walk through the drive thru, but eventually the manager came out and helped us out. She was super nice and understanding of the fact that we’re hiking thru and don’t have cars to use the drive thru. We got a bunch of food and milkshakes and then walked back to the hotel. Then we watched a funny show and ate before calling it a night.

Roxy and Sweet Pea lounging in the room after a few drinks.

Day 94: 20.8 miles

This morning we slept in a bit at the room before finally getting up and packing our things. We were able to contact the guy who picked us up at the trailhead yesterday and he came by once again to bring us back to trail. That was so incredibly kind of him and we were really grateful for the convenient ride back to trail.

The rain coming down outside of our motel. We still packed up and headed back to the trail!

It was pouring rain when we left the hotel around 9:30 a.m. It can be hard to hike out when the weather is bad. So I felt like a true thru-hiker when we checked out of our nice dry room to head out into the rain. After the first mile or so back on trail, we crossed over into Shenandoah National Park! That was pretty exciting. I’ve been looking forward to the park for a while now.

Because the rain was dumping down, we wound up doing an eight-mile stretch before taking our first break. The rain let up just as we got to the shelter, which was funny timing. But I was still glad to have someplace dry to sit and rest for a while. We all took our shoes and socks off to dry out as best we could. I whipped out a tub of guacamole and some Doritos and had a delicious snack. Then we sat around for a while before continuing on.

Eating guacamole and Doritos at our first break of the day.

When we headed out from there, the sun was out, which was wonderful. But it didn’t last for very long. It began to drizzle again shortly after, so I put my poncho on. There was no way that I was going to survive hiking in my rain gear all day. It was just way too hot and sweaty. So the poncho was perfect.

Boosted and I both got our rain gear on, but Sweet Pea had a feeling that the drizzle was going to stop. So he opted out of rain gear. And not ten minutes later did it begin to absolutely dump rain. It was some of the heaviest rain that we’ve hiked in for sure. At one point I caught up to Sweet Pea and he turned around to talk to me. He was soaking wet from head to toe and all he said was, “I think I made a mistake.” He sure did.

Sweet Pea hiking along the trail just before it began to absolutely dump rain.

It dumped rain for over an hour after that. Sweet Pea was sopping wet and Boosted and I were “dry.” I wind up sweating so much in the poncho/rain gear that I feel pretty soaked regardless. Especially once we started to do some climbing.

A foggy and rocky portion of the trail.

As the day went on, we were all damn wet, but the rain lightened up a bit. The weather was a little miserable but definitely could have been worse. At least the terrain was really cruisy, so we weren’t roughing it too bad. Shenandoah is supposed to be very well graded and relatively flat, so I’m looking forward to that. On this next stretch we wound up doing nine miles without breaking because of the rain. None of us had any desire to take a break if it meant we were going to get rained on the whole time.

Walking through a lush and beautiful stretch of trail after it stopped raining.

After a while the rain stopped and we decided to take a break at the next spot that we could. We passed a trailhead parking lot which seemed like the driest place to stop off. All of us sat there for a while and ate something before pressing on. We weren’t too far at that point from the shelter where we planned to end the day.

There were only 3.6 miles to go and the time flew by. The trail was super gradual with just a couple short climbs. I kept thinking that if the whole park is as chill as today has been then we are going to crush miles the next few days. The time flew on by and before we knew it, we got to the Blackrock Hut. There were a few people set up inside, but there was still plenty of room for the rest of us. Boosted and I set up inside, but Sweet Pea opted to pitch his tent instead. The tent sites were rough though, so he spent a really long time trying to pitch. Luckily, he got set up just before it began to pour rain once again. I was happy to be in the hut for the night for sure.

At the covered picnic table, I made my dinner and hung out. Then the guys and I smoked before we called it a night. The spot in the hut that I set up at was on the top level. It was basically a lofted bunch bed area. Boosted lifted Roxy up so that she could sleep between the two of us on the top level as well.

I got in my sleeping bag and did my stretching routine. And as I laid there, I could see the biggest spider that I’d ever seen in my life. It was pretty far away from me up in the rafters of the shelter. But definitely too close for comfort. I wished I hadn’t seen it because once I noticed it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. But there was no way that I was going to move or leave the shelter. I just had to live in harmony with the spider.

Today with all the rain I got some pretty bad chaffing on my lower back and in between my butt cheeks. Fun stuff out here on the trail. But I put a lot of aquaphor on before bed in hopes of calming it down a bit. Lately I’ve only been chaffing when it rains, which is good at least. I just have to figure out how to keep it at bay more if I can.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • thetentman : Jul 7th

    Nice post.
    A and D ointment will prevent and soothe chafing.


What Do You Think?