6/1 Cow Pasture near VA 610 (9)

June 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm

We woke up in Charlottesville and ended in a cow pasture outside of Atkins today. After a fantastic and very restful 5 day vacation courtesy of Uncle Bob and Aunt Laura, we met up with Galoot and Scaredy Cat. They kindly brought us to Pearisburg where we caught a ride from Elmer and his grandson Trent of Trent’s grocery and gas station. It is an establishment that randomly pops up on the AT 63 miles north of Atkins, and it has amazing milkshakes. Or so Trenton told us; hikers are very susceptible to food based delusions, in fact, and his description of their milkshakes, which used his family’s grass fed cow milk, were enough to produce a dream that grew into a wild fantasy over the following days as we hiked. But this story will continue later.

Mark and Jefferson hung out.

Moments in history were made.

A good time was had by all in Charlottesville.

(Photographer’s note: we didn’t manage to capture the majesty of Scranton as well, but this sign says it all)

Currently, though, we were crammed into a pickup truck driving the windy road back to Atkins, surrounded by thundering clouds and pouring rain. (During our break, we experienced some rare sunny skies on the trip, but we returned to the trail at the same time the rain did.) The rain abated and Trent dropped us off under sunny skies at the Barn Restaurant, which is much more the former than the latter. After the world’s most jaded waitress refused to serve any more hikers, we walked eagerly towards the AT, but not before a family took pictures with us and asked us to tell their kids what it was like to be an “official hiker.” Feeling fairly self-important, we hobbled 9 miles to a cow pasture and set up our stealth camp, to be shortly neighbored by a headlamp wearing Galoot and Scared Cat. As we fell soundly asleep to soft bovine lowing, we reflected on how happy we were to be back on the trail.

Somehow, this is still the only picture we have of Galoot and Scaredy Cat.