This morning, we awoke not to the sound of our alarms, but to the racket of the people on the second floor of the shelter. They were packing up all their gear at 5:15 am. We tried to fall back to sleep, but we did not have much luck. Anyway, our alarms were about to go off in a little bit, so we crawled of our sleeping bags at 5:30.
The plan was to hike to a restaurant called The Barn for prelunch, and to charge up my phone battery which had died last night. As we were about to head into The Barn, a couple walked up and asked if they could treat us to lunch. Their names were Melvin and Martha. We enjoyed a great meal and conversation with them. Martha is a hiker who has done 500 miles on the AT, and 700 miles plus of trail in the Great Smokies. Melvin's trail name is Lighting Man, because he had been struck by lighting 12 times! Martha is part of a hiking club who once a year does Big Trail Magic. She and her club purchase a ton of sub sandwich fixings and then set up at a fairly busy Gap on the AT. When hikers come through, they are treated to a custom sub sandwich of their choice. Trail Magic as it is officially known, can take many forms on the AT and is a real blessing to the hikers.
Halfway through prelunch, a man entered by the trail name of Jack's Dad. Martha and Lighting Man offered to buy his lunch too. I have forgotten to mention Jack's Dad before, but he has been camping with us for each of the past 4 nights. Even though we haven't had the chance to really talk, Jack's Dad seems like a really nice man.
After prelunch, we headed out into a heavy down-pour. It rained for a solid hour, long enough to get everything really soaked. I told David it was because I put on clean socks today, that's why it was raining so hard. We stopped for second lunch around 2:00pm, and then hiked until we got to the campsite around 6:45. When we arrived at camp, we were greeted by a large group of Boy Scouts, who had set up in the parking lot right next the actual camp site.
We cooked and cleaned up as quickly as we could, as we were both really tired. David and I wanted nothing more than to go to bed and get some sleep, the one thing the scouts were not helping with.
Today we passed the 1/4 waypoint! Below is a picture of the standard designated trail marker for the Appalachian Trail (AT) with its well known white stripe.
Partnership Shelter to camp site near VA 42
No Spot Connection for location