Breaking down camp today was easier than usual since everything was completely dry, thanks to the pavilion we slept under.
We started around eight with plans to meet my friend and former colleague, Chris Morse, and his wife Paula, for brunch at a restaurant 15 miles southwest along our route, in Rural Retreat, VA. They are in the process of relocating from Massachusetts to Georgia and we realized our routes would intersect a few days prior.
We met at 10:30 and shared great conversation while eating at Joey’s Country Kitchen. Just before walking out, we were told that a truck in the parking lot popped out of gear and rolled into their SUV. Luckily, there wasn’t much damage, but it was an unfortunate headache nonetheless. After they took care of that situation, we said goodbye, and they continued on their way to Asheville for the day and Atlanta tomorrow. It was such a nice coincidence to cross paths with them!
To celebrate the final climb of the day, we made nutella and banana wraps at the top.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by one hiker who started his hike with $31 in his pocket; he stops in towns to find odd-jobs to make money to fund the next segment of his trip. Per his recommendation, we went into town for dinner at Bobo McFarland’s.
When we returned to the hostel, we conversed with another hiker named Joel (his AT trailname is “Lumberjack”), who is from New Hampshire. He was with a few others but got shin splints, so he took a shuttle ahead to rest and recover. It was really interesting hearing his stories; our trips have lots of similarities but are also very different. He is hoping to get back on the trail early next week; good luck with the rest of your trip, Joel!
Trip stats, to date (Day 28)
- Wytheville, VA to Damascus, VA
- Daily mileage: 57.8mi; Trip total to date: 1,572.1mi
- Daily riding time: 4hr 57min; Trip total time: 142hr 06min
- Daily ascent: 4,155ft; Trip total ascent: 77,622ft
- Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0