A little trail magic

Dirt road (956.5)
Day 72 (6/21/19)
Miles – 22.1
Total miles – 989.2

The wind stared to blow real strong shortly before dawn. This made sleeping difficult. At one point we woke up and looked about. What we found strange was the bright lights shining on our tents. We thought that the kids were having a problem with their tent and trying to fix it, so Papa Raven popped his head out of the tent. It was not the kids. There were two people standing just beyond the tents. They asked if they could pass. He said sure. They said that they were out for an early sunrise hike. After they passed by, Papa Raven looked at the time, it was 5:05. We started our day a bit early. A short distance after departing the camp, we past out of Shenandoah National Park. Everyone was very low on water so we stopped a mile or so farther at a shelter and got just enough water to hold us until a better spring came along later in the day. It was a bad source of water that was incredibly slow and very dirty. Throughout the morning the hiking was easy. We are hiking at a lower elevation, around 800′ to 1500′. Being lower means that vegetation under the trees is dense. This can be a problem when we are trying to find a camp. Our second break for the day was an unplanned surprise. We came out at Fiery Run Road at about the same time as three other hikers. Someone was meeting one of them and she had brought food from Chick-fil-A. She gave us some fruit and we each got a box of chicken nuggets. It was a great treat! We did not stay long and headed for I66. We stopped just before the freeway, at a stream and snacked a bit more and soaked our feet. Leaving I66 marked the beginning of a big climb, 1,200′. It was not badly graded and it took several hours to reach the top where everything was covered with green vines. We believe that it was Kudzu, a vine that grows profusely over everything. We had to hike farther than we wanted because there was no place to camp. Finally, we came across a clear enough area to set up the tents. It was next to open grassland on one side, hence we would be entertained tonight by the fireflies!

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