One of the most profound motifs of this journey has been the kindness of strangers.
For example: Five of us hitchhiked into Troutville in the back of a pickup truck belonging to two friends out for a weekend hike. Kind. We saw them later that evening at a restaurant, and when we went to pay the bill, the waitress told us these same men had already paid it. Unimaginably kind.
And sometimes it’s that lift we get from others that keeps us going: especially when the going gets a little tough. Like the four freezing soggy days we had last week: our longest run of wet weather since the Smokies. Soggy tent, macerated feet, muddy dog and muddy muddy everything.
Still we persevere! We’ve been hiking with Chewbaca, Tinkerbell, Kodak and Zen. Cinderella and Paperclip; Cap, Spice, Goose and Starcrunch. We pitch our tents in similar spots, show up at the same shelters and keep each other company.
The Blue Ridge Parkway has been crossing our path as have numerous deer. We’ve hiked up some beautiful ridges but haven’t seen a darn thing but rainy fog. We crossed the longest footbridge on the AT in a little town called Glasgow, VA. Where the town has built a shelter and public bathroom/ shower especially for hikers. Kind.
On the last day of rain, we flagged down a fella who brought us to Devils Backbone Brewery. They let hikers camp behind their beautiful restaurant and fed us the most amazing four course breakfast I’ve ever eaten for $5. They even made a special plate for Mya.
We’re pretty darn lucky to be walking this historic trail. Even with shin splints and blisters. And when a stranger rolls down his window in the middle of a downpour to offer Gatorade and encouragement, it becomes even more sublime.
Next, it’s off to and through the Shenandoah National Park!! We hear there are bears. Wonder how many we’ll see with the dog around… We’ll see…stay tuned!!