7/4 Jim and Molly Denton Shelter (18.6)

July 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

First things first, THE PLAN WORKED AND I WAS VINDICATED!

We got hiking on the trail by 7am, and made it to Front Royal by 1:30. It turns our that hiking in the morning in the summer is awesome, no heat, a chance to beat the afternoon rainstorms that pop-up and the feeling of accomplishment!

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A bear print along the trail.

As we approached Front Royal, we were out of water and the heat of the day was upon us. Amazingly, one of the families in the neighborhood we passed near had put out a cooler of watermelon and a huge jug of water!

It was a slightly difficult hitch into town, while there was plenty of traffic for the 4th of July, no one wanted smelly hikers in their cars. We eventually got a ride to the supermarket, where we resupplied in record time, even with time to grab a bite to eat in the downtown. We also avoided an afternoon downpour while in the market, as an added bonus.

We set out to hitch back to the trail worried that we would have the same luck getting out as in. After a minute of holding our thumbs while pantomiming hiking, a woman shouted to us our her window and u-turned to take us out of her way up to the trail!

Essentially, we had been having a day that could not have gone better.

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A fantastic shelter with a cooking pavilion.

But it did go better.

We arrived at the shelter, having packed out hotdogs and buns to share with whoever else was up at the shelter for the 4th of July, along with some sparklers. Little Bird, who we schemed with the night before, brought the materials for s’mores. The three of us had a very simple, but memorable holiday along with Dragonfly, Prairie Dog and some section hikers, goading everyone into playing with sparklers and sharing our food.