Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sweet weekender friends

10-10-09 day 130
start: Thomas Knob Shelter, VA
end: Lost Mountain Shelter, VA
daily mileage: 12.2
total mileage: 1699.5

After our shortcut of the day before we were able to do just 12 miles today, so we took it easy. It was a cold, rainy morning in the highlands (which is too bad, because they are otherwise so cool!) with nasty stinging rain, but we got out of it shortly after we descended back into the forest. We met up with a weekend group headed to the same shelter as we are. They seemed cool as we passed them, so we figured it would be fun to hang out with them that night in the shelter. Then we passed a college group also going to that shelter! It's going to be a party (/ a nightmare trying to fit!). We got to the shelter in time for lunch, and staked out our spots and made some food. When the weekend group arrived it was revealed that most of them wanted to tent out anyway, so only 2 joined us in the shelter. No Money and Fiddler arrived and informed us that they'd passed the college group, which had decided to find a quieter spot to camp. So there was plenty of room after all!

The weekenders (about 10 or 12 of them) were apparently a group from, a website where people can find others with similar interests and so make friends. They had all just met that morning. It was really cool how well they seemed to gel with one another though, and made me want to check it out. They invited us to join them on an excursion a mile and a half down the trail to a river crossing to go for a swim, which all four of us thru-hikers naturally refused. When you've hiked 1,700 miles over the last few months, non-trail miles seem like a bad idea. So we slept and read instead. When the got back, we built a fire and Fiddler seranaded us with bluegrass music while we swapped stories and hung out with the hikers. One older lady in particular had led a sweet life... she told us all about how she frequently hopped trains across country in her youth, and how she was leaving next weekend with another group to climb the redwoods out west! It's always fun to hear about people who continue to do fun and exciting things even into their old age.

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