A week ago, Caveman joined back up. Unfortunately, he was accustomed to 20 plus mile days to catch up with us. We were used to 16-18. Therefore he had to slow down for us. But we were at the point we needed to speed up so it was almost working out.
Caveman got ahead of us and Patch and Sully got behind us one day last week when we came across a gap with a small note to hikers. "hungry, cold, wet, tired?". We were most of those. "free shelter, meal, shower, and laundry". We're there. It was put on by a Lutheran family. They came and picked us up after 10 minutes. Little did we know we were in "God's Thumb Print". Possibly literally if you look at 3D map of Burke's Garden. It's a big oval imprint in the middle of a mountain range. Absolutely beautiful.
We got to the Lutheran's just in time for dinner. Baked Spaghetti and salad and ice cream. They had an amazing outdoor shower and a hut outback for hiker laundry just big enough for the two of us to stay. Turns out the Lutheran vicar and his wife chose an assignment of care taking for hikers as they live only 4 miles from a trail head. June and Pete. They were both amazingly kind and generous. They gave so much and asked for nothing in return. True Trail Angels. There we met Phenix, Soda Pop, and Grizzly. We were hoping Caveman would be there when we arrived or that Patch and Sully would show later that evening but neither happened. Kinda had us worried.
We stayed there that evening and awoke to an outstanding breakfast. Our time there was awesome but it was time to get hiking. We got a little over 12 miles and saw a flyer for a free dojo we'd been hearing about. We called but had bad reception and was able to hitch to Bland where Caveman was and then to Bastian where the dojo was.
The flyer for the dojo said it was ran by Trubrit. Trubrit? Interesting. A British fellow running a dojo in the mountains whilst taking care of hikers? Yep. That's exactly it. More than that actually. He's creating Fort Bastian. Said to be the Disney World for hiker and outdoor enthusiasts. Sweet. Should be open and operating this time next year. Anyway, this free dojo, not only was located next door to a Pizza Plus, but was also said to have a projector and surround sound. Okay... And 300 movies to choose from? What is going on here? It ruled. Got there Wednesday Caveman, Grizzly, and Soda Pop. It rained all day Thursday and we wanted to wait for Patch and Sully who apparently took an odd zero at the creek we left them at one morning.
Caveman got an invite to hop in a car headed to Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN by a section hiker who was also a the dojo. Immediately Caveman went to work figuring it out. He bought his tickets and immediately his ride cancelled. Whoa. That's not good. Around this time Patch and Sully show up and are immediately on board with Bonnaroo. Wtf? The money, time, and effort did not at all seem worth it to me but it certainly did to them. Within a few hours they had their tickets and a ride locked down. Impressive. They were going to Bonnaroo. We zeroed that day due to rain. It was storming and we had a free place to stay. We took it.
Sully had admitted to wanting to get off the Trail. This seemed slightly out of no where. We weren't quite sure why she felt that way but she agreed to come back after Bonnaroo and try and make it to Harpers Ferry. Good deal. Friday morning their ride arrives. Patch had a stomach bug and had been vomiting all night. Ugh. They loaded up in a Penske moving truck and rolled out. It was once again time for us to keep hiking.
Trubrit kindly took us to the trail head where we were headed for Dismal Falls. We missed our people already but we were having fun with Grizzly and Soda Pop. We detoured a half mile to Trent Grocery and got a burger and drinks. I love when that happens on the Trail. There were also a lot stings. Yellow jacket got Chaser and wasp got Reverie. They come out from under bridges. I guess it's that time of year.
We made it to the gorgeous Dismal Falls again, immediately disappointed Caveman, Patch, and Sully were not there to enjoy it. Oh well. The water was too cold to get in even though there was a good jumping hole from the falls. It was nice to sleep near water source providing white noise and water again.
The next day we made it to Wood's Hole. It's a hostel a half mile off the Trail that is self sustaining. Chickens, pigs, goats, gardens. It was a really nice place despite poor camping options. The breakfast there was some of the best on the Trail. There we met Purple Rain who hitched into Pearisburg with us. We had packages waiting on us and checked into a place with a pool.
Pearisburg was great. We really enjoyed the town. Though we didn't catch any of it, they had Civil War reenactments taking place the weekend. So all weekend we had confederate and union soldiers walking around. We also caught Gerber, Hammer, Two Pair, and Sketch. They had been there way too long apparently. It was great to see them because we didn't think we'd have any chance of catching up to them. Nevertheless, we finally got a room for ourselves even though our room was the hang spot and bag storage spot for people without a room for the day. After hanging out by the pool, Purple Rain, Grizzly, Reverie, and I finally got down on some all you eat Chinese food from right across the street. So perfect.
The next day, Sunday, we decided to zero. Pearisburg was nice and it would give The Human Caterpillar time to reunite. It was a pretty day, that is until we got the news. Both Sully and Patch won't be returning from Bonnaroo for multiple reasons. Dayum. Caveman was in the process of working out his ride back. What a blow. We certainly weren't and aren't ready to see them go. But you do what you gotta do. The statistics are rising. It makes feel better that are still here even though we wish they were too. We wish the best for them and will miss them. Trail friends.
We left this afternoon. Another tough climb outta town. Tougher with the empty space. We are ready for Caveman to come back. Belch too. And I know we've said it before, it's time to crank out the miles. Focus time. We are both looking forward to the future still. Lots of goods things have yet to happen. We are ready.
Jumonji, Miami, Creeper, Mountain Surfer, Super Mario, Patch, and Sully. Off the Trail.
800 miles between us and NYC. Early August is what it's looking like. Woohoo.
Still raining here. Weird not having other tents around. Possibly the first time we've been completely alone camping in some random spot. Kinda nice.
Chestnut Shelter. One of the coolest so far.
Soda Pop and Phenix.
Mrs. June and the Baked Spaghetti
God's Thumb Print, Burke's Garden
View from outdoor shower
The floors we sleep on.
The fliers we come across.
Non of that
Trubrit with the glass and 50+ with guitar.
Sketch and Two Pair
Another one of Reverie's awesome paintings.
Packing out beer. Worth the weight.
View from the tent.
- Spiral, Reverie, and CamDog