Miles today: 20.5
Miles total: 1328.4
Miles total: 1328.4
Currently sitting in my tent...
Excited to get to Waynesboro, I woke up early this morning. Luckily, Michael and I had pored over his big maps and found a stopping point halfway through my day, preventing me from getting fixated on my distant endpoint. The smooth walking allowed me to play some of the mileage games that I made up during my higher-mileage days. One of my favorites was Ten by Ten, where you try to walk ten miles by 10 AM. I was a winner today, pulling up to Sawmill Overlook at 9:41 EST. My reward: a large honey bun and relaxation time in the sun. I once again forgot to take a picture of my good spot, but it's safe inside my head. As I took off again, I approached the southern end of Shenandoah National Park. The trail got a lot more overgrown and rocky, so I had to slow down a bit. Not much else happened on my way down into town other than passing a mountain covered with cell phone towers, giving me the best cell coverage on the trail to date. I got to US 250, stuck my thumb out, and was again treated to a couple who doubled back to pick me up. I was in Waynesboro in no time.
A guy on the street immediately came up to talk to me and ask me about the trail. He was really friendly and gave me his number for when I passed through his neck of the woods. Already Waynesboro was jockeying for a title as friendliest trail town. As Bubba spoke to me, I noticed another hiker appear, carrying a hiking staff. Pink Leprechaun! He had been on many adventures and was poised for another one, possibly heading up to a nearby town to meet up with a trail acquaintance. I told him he's well on his way to becoming a trail legend. He told me I wasn't the first person to say that. I used a computer in the nearby building, then went off to resupply at Kroger. I sat outside, eating donuts, when Pink gave me a call to see what I was up to. We ended up sitting on adjacent benches and doing more relaxing before heading to a trail legend: Ming Garden buffet. I've been hearing about this place from nobos since New Hampshire. There was no way I'd miss it. It was surprisingly nice inside, with plenty of Koi fish swimming around looking gross but adding to the atmosphere nonetheless. I ate two plates too many and checked out the weather channel on one of the TVs. Clear tomorrow and Thursday, but other than that it's all about the RAIN. Pink hypothesized that we could hike south of this system by the time it arrives. He had a point. we've had excellent luck with weather. Why would it stop now? Pamola, the protector of the mountains in Maine, has been following me along the trail with his weird moose-eagle-human body, casting good weather upon me.
After dinner, we waddled over to the YMCA, where I got a free shower. They directed us to a free campsite in town. I now lay under a tree that sporadically drops giant fruit, so please pray for my cranium tonight. Tomorrow is another reasonable-mileage day, so I have no plans to leave town too early. Skip town breakfast? Never. My guide says something about a pancake-eating challenge, but I'm not feeling so foolish.
Picture: crossing I-64, my only pic of the day.