*Summary: Rockfish Gap 861.9 to Random Campsite 872 Total: 10.1 miles *From this post forward we plan on doing a mileage and location synopsis including start point, end point and total mileage for the day.
We woke up at 9. Tyler headed to breakfast but Emily wasn't quite ready to face the world and ate fruit and snacks in the hotel room. Afterwards, Emily finished up some work and blog stuff and Tyler ran out to grab some things we forgot at the store (namely body glide and new hand sanitizer). He also grabbed some fancy coffee from Micah's coffee which was deeeelish. Patch, who had trouble recognizing the recently groomed Tyler, was recently back from his podiatry appointment. He had a quarter inch in grown toenail removed and was sent off with a clean bill of health. Yay him!
At around 11 we called around for a shuttle back to the trail. We tried some new names, but most of them didn't respond. Miss Cindy was able to come pick us up. She's a particularly popular shuttle driver and a bundle of energy (and easy to talk to). She said dropping by the outfitters would be fine (as long as we weren't shopping for shoes) so Tyler ran in to grab the new fancy Osprey atmos 65 that Rich had set aside. Rich showed Tyler some of the new features and told him a bit about his own thru hike that was nearly cut short by Lyme Disease in new Hampshire! But he got the miles in after he recovered.
Back in the car, Miss Cindy told us about some of the characters she has met this year. She also told us she loves hikers, but isn't the biggest fan of aqua blazers or yellow blazers. Aqua blazers are relevant to the area since many people canoe or kayak the 100 miles of the Shenandoahs. She says it's a bit mistake since it's never as relaxing as you hope, prone to accident, and you don't save any time. Yellow blazers, well, the partiers are just lazy and rude.
She dropped us at Rockfish Gap at around 12:30, which is a great success for getting back to the trail. We repacked our gear, since Tyler had thrown most of his stuff in his sleeping bag liner while awaiting the bag swap. The bag felt great, even post resupply and, yes, he should have replaced it much earlier. The balance seemed to be better so the pack was more flush with his back which put more of the weight comfortably in his hips. Also, having cushioning on his hips and shoulders again was great. Working zippers are pretty cool too.
We hiked a short ways to the self registration station before we went into the Shenandoahs proper. On the forms you just fill out your basic itinerary and contact info. Then we got hiking.
It seems that we finally found the reason people call Virginia flat. The trail is nice (sometimes the gravel can wear down our feet) but the trail only gently rises and falls. We made ten miles in no time but we were now tired from town so, we decided to stop when we saw a beautiful campsite fairly hidden from the trail along a rocky ridge.
It was supposed to rain, also, so getting camp up wasn't such a bad idea. We made an early dinner and got in the tent just as it started to rain. Afterwards we took a somewhat accidental nap while listening to the rain and thunder. By the time we woke up from this nap, it was starting to get dark, but the rain had stopped for the moment. So we brushed our teeth, hung the bear bag and went back to sleep, this time for real.