Tuesday, September 29, 2009


9-13-09 day 103
start: Blackrock Hut, VA
end: YMCA Field in Waynesboro, VA
daily mileage: 19.9
total mileage: 1325.8

Another nice day. We stopped at Calf Mountain Shelter and met a section hiker who told us all about hiking the in Europe, specifically the Camino Francais and the Camino Del Norte in Spain. It sounds awesome: less wilderness-seclusion, more hiking from little town to little town.

We got out of the Shenandoahs, and met Plugger again! Another flip-flopper, he's been tailing us since mid-Maine... and even though he does very short days every day, he skips huge sections of trail at a time by car ("yellow-blazing") so always manages to stay with us. We met him at this nasty abandoned building where the trail crossed the highway into Waynesboro, and caught a ride into town with him.

Waynesboro has an incredible network of trail angels (people who are always willing to help hikers), and the guy that picked us up to drive us into town was one of them: Mr. Collins. He was awesome - maybe 80 years old, driving a super classy Buick with quiet 30s music playing, speaking softly in a laconic southern drawl. Every bit the quiet, friendly, older southern gentleman.

We washed up in the YMCA and I went for a quick swim, then met up with Gooch and Bacon in the field the YMCA lets hikers camp in. Then we wandered down to Ming's Garden.

Now, I'm aware that this blog probably mentions food a lot - and in truth, it's one of the few things that we're ALWAYS thinking about out here. So I try to avoid totally food-centric entries... but Ming's Garden was freaking incredible. We'd been hearing about it, literally, the whole trail... and without a doubt, it was the best Chinese buffet either of us have ever been to. The restaurant itself was beautiful, and we were served every conceivable chinese dish, crab-legs, desserts... wow. I've never been happier in my whole life.

Needless to say, we left Ming's in a state of considerable pain (the worst Itus we've ever had, perhaps) and met up with Sysaphus in the field and another Waysnesboro trail angel "Raffle Queen." She brought a huge car camping tent for us to sleep in, though Sea Monster and I just cowboy camped out under the stars. What a day...

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