Saturday, May 21 - Day 58 - Mile 602.9 - VA 606 - Trent's Market
Just for the record...we each had two of the best milkshakes in town. If they had a coffee flavor for breakfast I would have had my third today but they didn't.
The day started out warm and beautiful. Left Bland just after breakfast and had a delightful hike through sun dappled woods. Buffalo Bobby and I solved many of the worlds problems early on (as we usually do) and then walked in silence for hours just listening to nature.
About 6 miles from our destination we were once again treated to trail magic. This time it was a family from Ohio. The husband hiked the trail and wanted to give back a bit of the trail magic he had experienced. This was their second day and they provided hot dogs, ice cold sodas, potato salad, fruit, chips and all kinds of snacks. They even hung bags of treats up the trail and filled the stream at the trailhead with sodas for hikers who may miss them later in the day. When we arrived Rocky and Laugh Track were there and later we were joined by Maglav and JB a fellow and his future Son-in-Law who we had met earlier in the day. What a wonderful treat. No matter how many times this happens it's always a welcome surprise. You can't imagine how good a cold soda tastes on a hot afternoon. (Many photos were taken).
Also today we met Cold Kettle. He started the trail two days before me and we had never crossed paths. He's retired but had designed IT systems for the Tennessee prison system. We had a delightful conversation with him during a pack break. He's been losing so much weight that his doctor suggested he try to eat more and hike shorter distances due to a diabetic condition he has. So that's what he's doing. Between trail magic, gown visits and plenty of snacks in between I think Buffalo Bobby and I aren't in too much danger of losing more weight. The trick will be to stop eating like this after we're finished.
When we arrived at our destination, which is a combination snack shop and campground, we met Hopeful who had another interesting story. He had hiked the trail in 2003 and Buffalo Bobby knew him then. He had a wonderful time on that trip but felt he needed to get back on the trail to give back too. He did some section hiking with Circuit Rider and Sherlock who I mentioned meeting earlier, but really wanted to hike the whole trail again to give encouragement to other hikers. He said be wouldn't dare ask his wife to go again, but silently asked for the opportunity if she brought it up. He said last fall, while having a cup of coffee with his wife, she brought it up and suggested he hike the trail again before they were too old to consider it. Well, long story short. He's thru hiking this year for the sole purpose of encouraging others. what a wonderful guy. (No...I have no intension of doing this a second time...but do look forward to providing some trail magic down the road).
Our tent site tonight is great, right beside a river in a grassy field. We were able to take a shower and wash our clothes here as well. This is likely the cleanest we've Been since Trail Days.
This was what I would consider a perfect day on the trail.
Love, peace, joy and hope,