Day 66 (6/15/19)
Miles – 21.3
Total miles – 888.0
We had another good night’s rest, breakfast, and an easy ride back to the trail thanks to Vintage. He picked us up at 7:30 and dropped us off where we left the trail several days ago. Thanks Vintage for the rides and trail talk. We crossed US 250 on an overpass and headed into the Shenandoah National Park. The Skyline drive follows the length of the Shenandoah National Park and the AT crosses it many times. A short ways into the park we got to the self registration for back country permits. We filled one out for our group. While Papa Raven was doing that Bling found a large round cutoff from a log. He picked it up and wanted to show it to Mama Raven. When she went to look at it, he dropped it on her foot. It smashed down on four of her toes. She let out a loud yell. Great way to start the day.
The hiking through the Shenandoah is not difficult. The trail does not have any big ups so we could move along pretty well. Our path parallel’s the Skyline drive coming out at parking lots and overlooks. Sometimes it will come above the road for better views. There was a short detour around power line construction. On the far side of that detour, we stopped for a short break. As we were setting there a hiker passed us. I looked up and saw a Japanese man with a gotee. Papa Raven recognized him, so he called out his name, Sketch. Many weeks ago we had heard that he was on the trail and we were hoping to run into him. Mama and Papa Raven and Whisper met Sketch on the PCT in 2015 up near Mt Rainier. This was after Bling broke his femur and left the trail. After a moment, he remembered playing Frisbee with Whisper in a parking lot just east of Mt Rainier. Sketch also did the CDT in 2017, the same year we did, but he SOBO’ed it while we NOBO’ed. Neither of us saw the other. He is trying to finishing his Triple Crown, just like us. We met up with him later in the afternoon and talked about the two other trails and people we knew. He also showed us his six small sketch books he draws and paints in as he hikes. He says he takes an hour a day to take time to draw. He is a talented artist!
Tomorrow we will run into our first store up here. We discovered that we are one breakfast short. We goofed up yesterday when sorting the food thus we will get something at one of the stores. Through the Shenandoah National Park, there are stores and restaurants along the trail. We are not sure if this is good or bad. It will be fun to get ice cream along the trail, however, each stop will take time out of the day’s hiking. We will see how it works out.