The MGH brings hikers to an Amish breakfast at Burke’s Garden General Store. I was a bit tempted by the all you could eat bacon, but they don’t even head to breakfast until 9:00. I wanted to get on trail. I’m a morning person and definitely wanted to get on trail earlier than whatever time breakfast would be over. Bitcoin dropped us back at VA Route 623 and dropped off more water at the cache. I saw a bunny on the road as we drove to the trailhead.
The trail got more cruisy shortly after we got back on trail. Sharkey jumped into Laurel Creek to cool off. Frosty and I got water there. Samwise showed up while we were getting water.
Today was the solstice. That means it was hike naked day. Something Frosty and I haven’t ever done, but it is a tradition that Sharkey has observed. On his thru hikes in 2008 and 2012, he hiked naked. He did for a short while today (while not with us) and took some photos to send to Sweets. I did run into a SOBO who thanked us for not being naked. It wasn’t just that she didn’t wants to see older people naked, she had run into a young couple hiking naked earlier and didn’t appreciate it. From her description, I think it may have been Dad Jokes and Sriracha.
We experienced trail magic in the parking lot across from Brushy Mountain Outpost! It was set up by 7-11’s mom, Susan, and Aunt Jackie. This was my first time experiencing this type of trail magic in the form of a food smorgasbord. They had an awning with blankets and chairs. Susan was cooking hot dogs. They had buns and condiment packets. They had a cooler with drinks and fruit. They had salty crunchy snacks, and chocolate bars, and cookies. They also had a place to dump trash.
I had a hot dog, a Coke, a Dr. Pepper, Cheetos, two Reeses peanut butter cups, and watermelon. We hung out here for quite awhile. Susan had brought 7-11’s dog, Rocky, to visit. A thru hiker, Funkster, had arrived just before us. He ate quickly and left. He was slack packing the trail as his wife supported him. She met him along the way in an RV. As we were about to leave Samwise showed up. I drank too much pop too quickly. It made me uncomfortably full. I had a Coke and then later saw that they had Dr. Pepper. I should have just dealt with missing a Dr. Pepper.
His family chose this location to do trail magic, since it wasn’t far from where Susan lived in West Virginia. Jackie was fun to talk to. She was a teacher. She had taught in a variety of grades and situations. Thank you for the trail magic! It was much appreciated!
I tore myself away from this food oasis, and we headed back on trail. Shortly before the blue blaze trail to the shelter, we saw another big, black rat snake. The shelter, Helveys Mill Shelter is .3 off trail. The water was an additional .2 away and a steep, switchbacked walk down.
We didn’t need supper because of the trail magic. We could hear thunder, but it didn’t rain. Samwise showed up. His shirt which had ben normal when he arrived at the trail magic was now in shambles. He had the crew neck collar around his head, like a Rambo style headband the rest of the shirt was in strips with zig zagged bottoms hanging off the headband like a cape. Not sure what was going on. I didn’t want to know enough to ask.
It was the three of us in the shelter. Since rain was in the forecast, Sharkey decided to stay in the shelter. Then at 9:30, Grizz showed up. We hiked 18 trail miles today. There are more photos from our day below.