Friday, May 5, 2017

Slack time

Magnificent breakfast! Then, off on the trail to Pearisburg, 4 1/2 hours for 11 miles? I can do it without my pack.

So, I did -- a personal best, no matter that the other three slackpackers outpaced me. Still early for the rendezvous at the Food Lion, even after I took a few minutes to detour through another giant maze of ocean floor chunks to check out Angels Rest!

Angels Rest

More flowers!

A tunnel of soon-to-flower bushes

May have stripped a few gears, though, a few thigh muscles that have not complained for a while filed grievances in the evening.

Sitting around before dinner with the thru hikers, hearing their stories ... Maple has a dog who adopted her on the trail. She says he followed a number of hikers in the area, but seems to have latched on to her -- "Chewy" certainly loves his new mistress.

Maple and Chewy

There are some details ahead that could trouble their relationship, though. After a week with Maple "in the Hole", Chewy's footpads are still not recovered from her frantic search for a new master on the trail. Maple is taking one more week of zeroes -- effectively saying good-bye to the "family" of northbound hikers she has traveled with over the past three months, in hopes that Chewy will recover quickly. After that, a relative will be joining her for a week of short days on the trail, and they will conspire to gain her father's agreement to let Chewy stay in at the family home in New Jersey until she clarifies an offer from a friend to come join him in California. Ah -- Life, Love, Complications.

Our hostess suggested to me this evening that I might help her deal with a "party bubble" of hikers that rolled by exchanging my place there for one in the main house, at a slightly higher rate -- leaving them all sequestered in the bunkhouse where they could enjoy chattering into the late hours. I thanked her and eagerly accepted.

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