Gren Anderson shelter: 1325
Total miles: 20.1
Dean and Ducky left before we got out of the tent around 7:45. Before leaving though, we did get some social time with Monty who had rolled into the shelter at 11:30 last night after Gyp's took hold of him. He said he would catch up to us later in the day.
The rocks were diminishing now so we were able to cruise. After six miles, we took a short break and were reminded that mosquitoes are the new rocks. We can't sit still for long or we would soon be dessicated corpses. We pushed on farther to High Point State Park (HPSP).
We decided to eat lunch at the state park headquarters since we were over halfway to our destination for the night (Unionville) and the friends of HPSP have left sodas for hikers. We drink way too much soda now, but we are ever so thankful for sugar amd caffeine boosts. We signed the registry, took our soda, and then met Jess out front. She was waiting for her thru hiker friend, Scrambler, but in the mean time chatted with us and gave us some killer cookies. Apparently she had randomly seen Scrambler (also from New Jersey), hiking that day and offered to bring him lunch at the headquarters so they could catch up (and provide some trail magic for us lonely hikers too!) Thanks Jess!
Jess's friend, Scrambler, and his hiking buddy, BAMF (a soft spoken fellow from Montreal) showed up. Scrambler, in addition to being a hiking monster who started the trail in May, is hiking for his new nonprofit, Adventure Heroes. The current project is Breathtaking Journey, which aims to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, a progressive, genetic lung disorder, and get people with C.F. on extended backpacking trips. Check out more about this wonderful project here: http://adventureheroes.org/breathtakingjourney/
We stayed and chatted with those guys for an hour or so, but carry on we must and so we did. The last 8.8 miles to Unionville went quickly. Partly due to the fact that some mean thunderheads were moving in fast. We made it to the awning under Annabel's pizza just as the first drops hit us. Though, by the end, most of the storm just passed us completely by.
We relaxed on the porch of the pizza place with Pick of the Litter, a hiker who had just taken a double zero in Unionville. Hikers are welcome to camp in the Unionville park after registering at the local grocery store. Given the local tavern, pizza, and groceries, it's a pretty sweet deal. Pick of the Litter shared his trail story, his life philosophy, and self healing through controlled breathing. Perhaps a conversation that one may assume happens on the trail. It was an interesting one though, and Pick was certainly funny and kind in his telling. And quite aware that a lot of people probably think what he had to say was nuts.
BAMF and Scrambler also arrived, and called off what was going to be a lot longer of a day. Now they would be hobo squatting with us. We set up our tent in Hooverville away from the pavilion where it seemed hikers would be loud and chatty late into the night. Also, the spot Emily chose happened to be in the shadows away from the park lights and away from the kids swimming in the neighborhood pool until midnight. When we were young we weren't allowed to stay up until midnight causing a ruckus. Keeping us old hobos up in our shanty town. Get off the lawn! Good night.