Today was all about business. Not many wonderful anecdotes happen on days all about business. We ate a quick breakfast and hit the road at 7:30 after saying goodbye to our sleepy comrades from the night before. The rain had pretty much stopped. Our boots were still soaked so our socks, initially dry (Tyler borrowed a dry pair from Emily since he has yet to replace his melted pair) soon were wet anyway. Tylers shirt was damp too. He initially wore his down vest instead of a shirt but it was too hot. We made great time. We averaged about three miles an hour and by 9 we had reached where we had wanted to make it the day before, the route 91 road. After the road there was a beautiful meadow. We made a brief stop to stare at the cows and take some pictures. After another blazing three miles and finally filling up on water, we stopped for a snack and coffee at a shelter which seemed to be sinking into a swamp. There were some late risers there building up the courage to leave. It looked like more rain was imminent, but we kept on trucking
By 2 in the afternoon we had gone 16 miles and informed Mary and Bruce that we would be in Damascus around 5:45. The sun had even come out which made our plight feel not quite so desperate. It's as if the weather was apologizing and pretending yesterday never happened.
After a couple more miles both of us were exhausted by pushing at unreasonable speeds all day. We stopped for a final snack break (the dregs of our snacks, it was a heavy calorie day). Only six more miles. Which sounded heavenly. Our legs were fairly numb. We passed the sign on the Virginia border. Said hello to Peregrine who was heading out to the border sign himself with a friend visiting from Pennsylvania (he made it to Damascus late the night before). Just as 5:45 was rolling around and we realized we had no service to get in contact with the parents to say we would be slightly late, Mary and Bruce materialized, trudging up to meet us! Bruce took Emily's bag (Tyler was too stubborn to give up his). We celebrated and told them of our day. We were still about a mile out of Damascus, but it really didn't matter anymore. We had made it and our marathon day was over. We actually ended up walking significantly more than 26.2 miles, since the trail goes through Damascus, but I think we could sport the bumper sticker.
The parents had booked us all rooms at the B&B at the Millsap-Baker Estate. It was, sadly, on the other side of town from us, but the trudge, now in dry camp shoes, was relaxed and easy. The B&B was gorgeous, but food was first on our minds (the B&B owners left out snacks and homemade cookies, we devoured them, including a sodas. The four of us walked a half mile back to the Damascus Brewery. A bbq food truck, slinging chicken and pork sandwiches was like a beacon of hope. We enjoyed some IPAs, even Emily, who is usually whisky only, enjoyed one. There were loaded nachos, and pork sandwiches all around. A drunk guy even danced for us after Mary made some comment about dancing. He said him and his buddies often check out bewbries on the weekend. Yep, bewbries. He was a bit sloshed.
We headed back to the B&B, finally bathed, Bruce and Tyler enjoyed freshly canned 32oz IPAs (that's right, a quart) caught up on life a bit, and fell gladly asleep.