7/1 Rockspring Hut (24)

July 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Today we watched another hiker get off the trail.  We talked with Squirrel last night for hours and started our day out hiking with him.  He did a year of bike touring before beginning the trail, which gave us a lot to talk about, but was also exacerbating his Virginia blues.  It’s hard for anyone to be away from home and loved ones for that long, and we can hesitantly admit that approaching the psychological halfway point of Harper’s Ferry is frustrating when you realize that you are only half done. 

Squirrel articulated all of this and more to us as we hiked through the morning mist today.  There were scattered drops of rain and low hanging clouds still lingering after our rainy night and they followed us on our commute.  As we crossed a major intersection on the road, Squirrel hung back when we ran across.  The fog was thick and slowly rolling over the gap between us as he waved and yelled across.  And with that, we lost another hiking companion to the real world. 

The rest of our day was filled with multiple sightings of Shenandoah’s domesticated deer and rabbit population.  Between the food litter all National Parks seem to battle and the strict hunting laws they succeed in enforcing, the deer are extremely prolific.  Sometimes, they can actually be an obstacle.  We spent some time today shooing some apathetic looking young bucks off of the trail.

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They were much more interested in eating than moving.

Perhaps because of the early weird weather patterns, we ended up with one of the most beautiful sunsets of our trip, and on a great view spot.  The Shenandoah region, with its rolling hills and smooth trails, is starting to win us over.

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We showed up in camp late and woke up Earth Man, who we were nonetheless glad to see.  He’s a section hiker that we seem to run into everywhere along with Zed and his son, John. We also noticed Joe Cool’s glowing blue tarp from the shelter and her plastic sword hanging against the shelter wall.  We’re looking forward to talking to familiar faces tomorrow morning but for now it’s time to sleep after a long day.