Since I last posted, I feel like I've been flying! We left home in Catawba and immediately hit some of my favorite places - McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs, Dragon's Tooth, THE HOMEPLACE. If you ever hike the trail, go eat at The Homeplace. It's my favorite restaurant of all time and just off the trail. Really popular with hikers. I ate my body weight in roast beef. Debated lining my pockets with it as I left. I am not above that. Shit is good.
The Homeplace - AKA GREATEST PLACE ON EARTH
Anyway, after we hit those 3, we slackpacked (hiking without your pack) all the way to Daleville! It was pretty spectacular. Fastest 24 miles I've ever done. Got to Daleville and my Dad picked us up. It was so nice to see my Dad and little sister for the night. I even got to see my little sister kick some major 12 year old ass in softball. She's incredible - so proud of her. I'm so lucky to have family just off the trail. Going through home was so perfect - hard to leave, to be honest. Miss my family.
After Daleville, I just hit the ground running. I actually met up with the group of girls I started out with! I've been hiking with Wees and Ice Party for the last couple of weeks. They are two fantastic people who do nothing but laugh, sing, and have a good time. Makes me happy.
Since I last posted, we completed the Shenandoah National Park! We exited the park two days ago. It runs for roughly 100 miles. I thought it was gorgeous. Not so much the scenery, which was still incredible, but the wildlife! I was hiking one morning by myself and turned the corner to a doe standing on the trail. She just strolled off the trail, not phased by me at all. She stood there for a while for me to take a picture or two. I loved it. I saw so many deer in the Shenandoah.
I also met this guy:
Named him Butters.
Trail in the Shenandoah. Spring has sprung! Wish the leaves would hurry up and fill in so I don't burn 24/7. #gingerproblems
After a lonnng day. Ice Party stopping to enjoy it.
Moose, Flipper, and Wees drying out.
Trail was a little wet. Jumped in this puddle 80 times.
After we left the Shenandoah, we reached the Front Royal road crossing and Sarah picked me up to take me into the city. I've had THE BEST time. Reunited with all my best friends and little cousin. Got to see Desi get her Masters from Georgetown, drank a beer called the Dalmatian (all about it), ate SO MUCH FOOD (I think there is something wrong with me. Bottomless pit.).
Sarah's dad treated us to Thai food - thank you, Mr. Weber! After walking around Georgetown for a bit.
Reunited with my baby cousin. This normal thumb picture following a bathroom mirror photo shoot. Too ashamed to post those.
Just kidding! Crocs for days.
Best friend - 19 years and counting.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST. RAN INTO THIS ONE IN DC. Couldn't believe it. I miss you all, Portland. Also got to facetime Andrea and Sasha. Made my month.
Anyway, I'm heading back to the trail today. We should be hitting Harper's Ferry soon! Almost done with Virginia! Bittersweet. I'm so excited for the northern states.
Maildrops and letters! Kris and Fisken, I received your letters in Waynesboro! Thank you so much, they made my day. There have been a few cases where I know people sent letters and I didn't receive them. I make it a point to reply to every letter I get, so if you didn't get a response, I probably didn't get it :( :( ...would love if you'd write again!
Next maildrop address:
C/O Ironmasters Hostel
1212 Pine Grove Rd.
Gardners, PA 17324
Please hold for AT Hiker
ETA May 25, 2014