AT Day 51 – Luxurious Hiking

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5th June

25 miles

Bushcamp to (913.8) to Byrds Nest #3 Hut (938.8)

The rain started the very second I started to pack up my tent. I cared little for how I folded the tent, it was wedged in my pack. The umbrella was promptly set up and I started hiking. The rain wasn’t heavy but it was steady for about an hour. Later the droplets from the trees rained down on me with every gust of wind.

At 10am I’d hiked 10 miles to the Big Meadow Lodge. A reasonably priced menu had me ordering two servings for breakfast which included scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast and pancakes with four cups of coffee. I do like coffee. The waitress had seen it all before with many a hungry hiker frequenting the lodge. I sat near the window and watched the rain come and go for about 45 minutes.

I left Big Meadow Lodge around 11am and only saw one other thru hiker for the rest of the day. I must be past the last of the hiking bubbles. I suspect I will not see too many hikers on trail from now on, just in places like towns where hikers congratulate for longer. Soon I’ll be taking a few days rest from hiking to be a tourist in the capital, Washington DC. I’m not sure how many days I’ll have off. When I get back on trail I think I’ll start to see some familiar faces again.

The trail was pleasant today. Again there were no big hills and lots of viewpoints over the rolling hills and plains below. The trail followed Skyline Drive, a popular driving route through Shenandoah National Park. There were lots of picnic areas with restrooms and trash containers. They were welcome as I didn’t need to carry my trash for very long. Around 6pm I utilised one of these picnic areas to cook dinner. It’s a luxury to use a picnic table to eat a meal. After dinner I walked another 2 miles through the darkening fog to camp. I like hiking in Shenandoah National Park.

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