I dozed in and out for about an hour before making the call to roll out. To my surprise it was only 8 o’clock. I hear Somewhere cooking breakfast. I pack up my stuff inside my tent and put on my already smelly clothes. I roll up my tent and stuff it in my bag. I sit down for some granola and coconut milk. I do a few stretches, as many as I can stand and hit the trail by 10 with a plan: to meet Somewhere at the next shelter. I stopped by the camp store to pick up lunch: turkey and cheese sandwich, apple sauce, and peanut butter crackers. It’s cool and overcast today but a little on the muggy side. I see two hikers making their way up to the store as I walk down. The trail is again gradual and forgiving. I came across some fresh bear poo in the middle of the trail which included a little paw claw. I started playing my harmonica as I walked. The views here were great but kind of all the same.
After 3 miles I stopped at Ivy Creek for a lunch break. The sun had come out by then and it was heating up. After a moderate climb up through flowerless mountain laurel bushes I reached an overlook.
I continued on 2 more miles to Pinefield Hut. It was 2:30 and I felt a little bummed to be stopping so early. There was group of dudes hanging out smoking pot. I went in search of a tent spot and found one up the hill from the shelter.
After pitching my tent twice I gathered my food bag and water bottles to returned to the shelter and water source to hang out and snack. Luckily there was a great spot to soak my feet in the creek.
Somewhere showed up about 3:30 and made conversation with Skunk and Chug who were trying to remember all the hitches they had done in the last 2 months. Chug has just returned to the trail from a 3 week break due to tendonitis. Skunk seemed to be tagging along on the yellow blazing (hitch hiking up the trail) which is easy to do in Shenandoah.
I began cooking my dinner about 5 out of boredom. 6 more hikers showed up as the evening was winding down. The rain started about 6:30 and I heard it may be a pretty bad night. The tenting spots are on a hill which I’m worried may leave me in the way of some run off. My feet hurt at the end of the hike today and stretching and the soak helped them feel better. A single digit day probably helped too.
Miles: 891.8 – 897.6 (5.8)