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Day 67: Flat Virginia is NOT a Thing

Today, we were really, really trying to get twenty miles over to Niday Shelter. We started hiking at 9:15, which, for those familiar with our work, is early for us. Everyone was ready by the time we headed out except Turbo who had a bit of a lie in.

At War Spur Shelter, we had a snack with No Chill and shared our plans again. It sounded like we wouldn't see many of the group for a while so we said our goodbyes for now. Also at the snack break, someone we had seen hiking numerous times and had met asked Dean his name. His name is Reggie but his trail name is Dean after On the Road. But no one remembers him or meeting him. We have been changing his trail name every day since no one can seem to remember the name Dean. Today, his name was Gumby. After the snack break, we headed for an uphill that a slack packing sobo warned us about the day before. It actually ended up being no problem. Which was not surprising. It seems that a lot of hikers like to have very strong, unprovable, unfounded opinions to share so they seem wise in the ways of the hike. The boulders were easier than we had previously experienced and the gravel was more dirt than gravelly. At the next shelter we grabbed water. It was dry and sunny and we were burning through the water. There, though, we did get a warning that a field was coming up and a couple hikers had accumulated some tics. We heard from a random guy at a gas station, who looked like someone you could trust for outdoors advice, told us we could use peppermint to repel tics. We used doctors brauners to great effect. We picked up no tics, as we walked through the gorgeous fields. We walked a few miles through farmers fields, cow pastures, and hay fields. 

The second hill ended up being extremely steep, but Emily tends to attack hills like they insulted her ancestors and we climbed it in no time. Some clouds rolled in all of a sudden and it rained for thirty minutes or so. However, this time it was the first time rain was welcome. Guess summer really is coming. We visited one more shelter before the final six mile stretch to Niday. A strange lady warned us about the upcoming terrain being hard to follow. The terrain ended up being a bit difficult, but not confusing. If it wasn't for it being the end of the day, it would have been a really neat climb with rock scrambles. But it really just hurt our feet and ankles. We made it passed the East Continental Divide, and finally made it to the Niday Shelter. 

At Niday, we set up the tent and ran into Happy Hour and P Tang. They told us about Four Pines Hostel shuttling people to an all you can eat home cooking restaurant that they were going to hike to tomorrow. Tomorrow's goal - set. After making dinner, it began to rain. We didn't know we were racing the rain, but apparently we timed it well. Emily tried to get away with a small dinner after the 20 miles, but Tyler forced her to eat Oreos until she replenished some calories. Dessert is at least as important as dinner out here. Afterwards, a bit less wiped than we expected, we headed to bed but not before hearing a far off whipporwhill. 

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