Day 64 — Sunday, May 18
We all woke up early today with the group that was going off to do Hard Core trail maintenance with Bob Peoples. They were all meeting at the bingo hall at 8:00. Tandem and I woke, packed, and headed out in the same direction toward Tent City to find Flats and his group going to Peter Creek Road.
We got to Tent City but took a detour to the welcoming porch of the One Way Ministry. We plugged in our phones, and I joined others all ignoring each other on our devices while I write the blog for yesterday. Many hikers kept coming on the porch to see if the Ministry was open and to plug in their phones. The three power strips quickly ran out of space and the negotiations began.
Truck came on the porch and Tandem asked if he had seen Flats. He had, and said that he would take her to his tent in Tent City. I chose to hang out until she returned. She had woken him up, meaning the departure time was not any time soon, so we decided to go to Mojo’s Coffee Shop.
We were offered a ride by Tum Tum and her boyfriend hiker in their rental van. They kindly took us all of the way to Mojo’s. We had breakfast there and hung out in back on the couch writing blogs and reading. Tandem fell asleep for a while due to being up late last night.
We got hungry again around 11:30, so we went to Dairy King for burgers, and I had one of their famous shakes. We ate with Tatonka and Day Tripper, who was surprisingly not stoned. We talked about hikers behind us and how those that started in April are catching up with them.
When we left, we found that Diary King takes only cash, so I went across the street to Cowboys to get cash from their ATM. Unfortunately, it was out of cash. I told Tandem then went down Main Street to BB&T instead. On the way back, I ran into an upset Tandem, who said that we had been left by Flats and his ride.
So, after paying, we went into hitching mode at 14:00. We made a sign for Christiansburg and stood across from Dairy King thumbing. We were picked up in 10 minutes by a couple of the ALDHA recruiters in their van headed back to MA. We sat on the floor in the back with our packs and rode to exit 128B to Blacksburg, where we were dropped off on VA Bus 420.
We were a bit off route for Peters Creek Road, but we made a new sign and started thumbing. We were approached by a woman from the car wash up the hill asking where we needed to get to. She recognized us as AT thru hikers because she had a relative do it a few years ago. We told her our destination, and she said that she would take us to Peters Creek Road after the cars mats were cleaned of spilled chocolate milk. Once she finished, her son and his friend had to stay with the wet mats while she made the 25 mile round trip. We talked about her English double major education from Virginia Tech as well as the expensive housing market in Blacksburg.
Our second leg of hitching got us to Peters Creek Road at 17:00. We thanked our driver and made a sign for the AT, which was now 14 miles away. Five minutes after holding it up, we were picked up by Jack, who lives 10 miles short of the trail but agreed to take us as far as his road. After making a call home, though, he was able to take us all of the way. We were excited! We arrived at the spot that Christopher had picked us up one week ago today.
When we pulled in, there was a Ranger talking to a group of hikers. We thanked Jack and took our packs over to the group where we learned that a thru hiker named Double R was considered missing by his wife. He has been calling home daily, but not successfully connecting. It was determined that he is somewhere around that intersection on the AT and that we should look out for him. One of the hikers posted the info to the Class of 2014 Thru Hiker Facebook page. We each got a business card from the Ranger to be able to contact him if we see the bald, caucasian, 60 year old Double R on the trail.
Tandem and I decided to hike about half mile north to set up in a campsite with water. We had the large free bag of plain pasta that I was given last night. The stove igniter is giving us issues not sparking correctly, so we need to research and fix that. While Tandem cooked, I got a fire started, which was the first time that we had our own fire. We enjoyed the fire and turned in when it died around 22:30.