Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Swamprat Returns and we Enter Shenandoah

I had a real creepy experience during the night. I had to get up and use the bathroom, and when I stood up, I shown my headlamp around to check for animals. Reflecting back from the darkness of the forest was 2 yellow eyes. Very slowly, the eyes would totally disappear and then appear again. Whatever it was was sitting there blinking at me. We looked at each other for a long time before the eyes disappeared completely. It had walked away (I hoped). My light was too weak to ever tell what it was. I'm pretty sure that was the closest I've ever used the bathroom near the tent!
We walked out of the woods and on to Skyline Drive, and walked up the highway to the Visitors Center. While waiting for Dania and Swamprat, we laid out clothes on the parking lot to dry. The woods have been so very humid that everything is staying really moist. Matter of fact, today I smelled a mildew smell and realized it was my pack. We started laying hints out in the sun whenever we could. On the trail, the sun is hard to come by. You are almost always under the forest canopy.
When they showed up, they had brought us McDonalds, which was very exciting! We ate, and also charged up batteries and used the computer at the Visitor Center.
It was very sad to tell Dania goodbye. We will miss her, and can't wait until we see her again. Maybe in New York? We hiked about a mile before entering Shenandoah Nat'l Park. We are excited about this milestone, because it means we are getting through Virginia! It was another hot humid day.
We only hiked 10 miles the rest of the day, and camped just before a storm hit. We ate in the tents and went to bed early. It was nice having Swamprat back. He had a new pack, new trekking poles and some new clothes. We all got caught up on stories of what we had missed. We camped just off Skyline at mile 866.3

- Steady and F100

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