Once again our morning angel, Dean, brought us coffee since the hotel coffee was beyond weak. Dean is a thru hiker AND a trail angel. Unstoppable combination!
We all had a sudden moment of clarity that we could actually count the number of weeks it would take us to reach 1000 miles. By this point, we knew how many miles we would do a day, and how many in a week, that we all could estimate, probably with some accuracy barring catastrophe the day we would reach Harper's Ferry. It was a weird moment. To see our progress. Also, to realize that it was only half way since we had been living and dreaming this trail for what now seemed like our entire life.
After breakfast we did our resupply food unpacking, meaning opening and throwing away all the packaging.
Dean, who sadly was going to be spending another zero since his knee had been bothering him, walked with us to Taco Bell for lunch. Taco Bell, as always, was grand.
Afterwards, we walked across the street and a hundred yards down the road back to the trail. A guy in the back of a pickup truck asked if we were thru hiking and when we responded positive, he asked us if we wanted some beers. Tyler didn't want to carry out more than two, despite the guys offer of essentially as many as we could carry. Extra bonus trail magic. Then about another mile down the trail there was more trail magic! For the first and probably only time, we just walked by, too full and overburdened and late to the trail. We heard later it was top notch and regretted the decision.
We were pretty socially exhausted today and it manifested as physical exhaustion as well. We made it ten miles to Wilson Creek (not the shelter, just the creek) found a little campsite and set up. We also had continued hearing that it would rain in the evening and didn't want to press too late. We stopped at around 5:30 and were completely wiped from town life.
A couple of our other friends didn't make it much farther. Monty and River headed the remaining .7 to the shelter. Lost later approached the creek while banging her poles together to alert any possible bears. Just for fun, Tyler let loose a fake roar which turned her 180 degrees in about 10 milliseconds. Not realizing his roar would have such an effect, and that he hadn't even been seen, he quickly apologized and there was some chuckling.
Soon after, we headed into the tent, the white noise of the river occasionally cut by distant thunder.