Stealth Campsite(934.7) to Stealth Campsite(950.9) 16.2 Miles
After I went to bed last night it got very windy. I could hear tree limbs falling throughout the night, but thankfully none came my way. I always look at the trees above my hammock to make sure it's safe, but you never know. Due to the wind, I had a fitfull nights rest. I was up and out of bed by 6:15. I had brownies leftover from my moms visit, so I shared them with Airlock. I skipped making coffee this morning. I'm not sure why, other than laziness. I was out of camp and on the trail by 6:55, not a record for me, but still earlier than usual. The terrain today looked like it would be pretty easy. The only semi-difficult looking mountain of the day, The Pinnacle, was first thing in the morning. I like to get my heartrate going first thing. The view from the top was pretty good. It was still pretty hazy, but not as bad as yesterday.
Pinnacles parking area had some neat information about the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Shortly after hiking The Pinnacle, I came to another day use area/ parking lot. It had dumpsters, running water, flush toilets, and a picnic bench in the shade. It seemed like a great place to eat lunch. I had a bagel with tuna salad. It wasn't as good as my cheeseburger from yesterday, but at least I didn't have to carry it around any longer.
Our next stop was the parks last Wayside, only 7.5 miles away. We had such an easy day planned, that I decided to get there as fast as possible. I wanted to hangout there all afternoon. The terrain was very easy and I made it in just over 2.5 hours. When I arrived I saw a lot of other hikers. Ahab, Honey Britches, Southpaw, Laces, Cold Potato, and Pace Car were all there. Later, Clover, M&M and their dog Mia came strolling in. We also got to hangout with, China Rock for a few hours.
Since I would be staying for awhile, I took off my socks and shoes and put my flip-flops on. I ordered a cheeseburger and washed it down with a Gatorade while a park ranger gave a presentation on black bears. It was a very educational presentation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After the ranger was done talking I went back into the Wayside for more food and beverages. I decided to wait on getting more food, but I did buy a beer. It was 10 cents cheaper than the Gatorade I had earlier. I enjoyed catching up with all of the other hikers. Most of them are trying to make it into town tomorrow night, so they didn't stay long. Airlock and I aren't planning on getting into town until Saturday, so we could stay as long as we liked. Front Royal is only 19 miles away, but I prefer to get into town early. I think it's a waste of a town day to get in after 5:00.
Before I started hiking again, I had 2 scoops of blackberry ice cream and an ice cold Coke.
I also used the restroom facilities to wash my socks and underwear. I waited until all the tourists had gotten back into their cars and left. People tend to give you strange looks when you're doing your laundry in a public restroom sink.
I walked around the store one more time to see if I wanted anything else. I was actually content and started to leave when a book caught my eye.
We started hiking around 5:30. Our only goal was to hike until we found a suitable stealth spot. It didn't take us very long, .6 miles later we found a nice cozy spot. We quickly set about making camp. Since we didn't have to cook dinner, our camp chores were taken care of in record time. I've really enjoyed all of the amenities the park had to offer. I hope I haven't grown to accustom to the luxury though.
Tomorrow will be another shorter mileage day and Saturday will be a Nero day. Airlock's husband, Gary, is meeting up with us and taking us home with him. I've heard rumors of an epic dinner he has planned for us. I can't wait to meet him!
"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy."" -Sylvia Plath