Friday, May 20 - Day 57 - Mile 584.3 - Bland VA
Restful night and on the trail early for a 12 mile walk to the road to Bland by 11:30.
This morning was finally sunny and warm. The hike was by far the easiest to date. Gradual ups & downs and plenty of level stretches. When we got to the road to Bland we tried unsuccessfully to hitch the 3 1/2 miles into town. (word on the trail was that locals won't pick up hikers) We decided to just continue hiking even though it would be nice to dry out in town for a while. I had a small blister working from wet socks so I decided to attend to that before we started back. Low and behold a hiker from NJ who had just finished a 4 day hike stopped to give us a ride into town. He and his buddy said they had hoped to find some hikers to help. Not only did they pick us up, but they we're going to the same place we were to have the best milkshake on the trail. More trail magic.
There's a hotel just across the street from the restaurant so we're spending the night, drying out our tents and hand washing our clothes. The nearest launder-mat is in the next town. Bland is a very small town.
Tomorrow we've arranged for a shuttle to take us back to the trail head after breakfast. Things continue to go amazingly well for us. Likely in no small part due to all the prayers coming from every direction.
We couldn't be having a better time.
Lots of love,