We woke this morning in the Four Pines Hostel at 7:30 to the sound of Hot Sauce opening a beer and laughter following. The good thing about this hostel is the conveniently placed bathroom and ability to rinse dishes, brush teeth, and do your business. After bagging our sleeping bags, we ate breakfast. I had two packets of oatmeal due to the electric stove in the hostel, along with a honeybun, banana, a Coke, and milk.
We chatted with the other hikers and Joe when he came in. We grabbed our packs at 9:00 and walked out to the road to the trail. We climbed over a low mountain range which required crossing farmland and about six stiles. We passed mile 700 today!
At one stile by VA 311, we were asked by a women driving by whether we had seen her missing German Shepard. We had not. We climbed for an hour to the famous McAfee Knob, where many pictures were taken of us sitting on the overhang, including one taken by a professional photographer with the blog site Shepherd on the Trail. We hung out there with Hot Sauce, snacking and talking for another hour while watching others get their pictures taken.
We had three snake encounters today and saw many deer, including a surprised, jumpy one. The first snake sighting was a harmless yellow striped Rat snake. The next was a big Black Racer, which City Slicka had flipped off the trail in the wrong direction, so we got photos and a video of it. The last snake was a small one with gray markings like diamonds, but it wasn’t a Rattlesnake.
We climbed to the top of Tinker Cliffs later in the day and enjoyed the views. We then dropped to the Lamberts Meadow shelter and met Valley Girl from CA, who has a very obedient Brown Lab that really wanted to get in the creek. We talked for a while, and City Slicka left for the campground at the bottom if the hill, about .3 miles down the creek. We followed him soon after and decided to eat dinner there and then hike toward Daleville until it got dark.
After dinner, we packed up and hiked three more miles as it got dark. We camped in a non-used campsite, leaving us six easy miles to go to Daleville in the morning. We hiked 19.6 miles today! The left shin is doing fine.
We missed out on a great meal for lunch at the Homeplace Restaurant in Catawba on VA 311 due to it being open only Thursdays through Sundays. We plan to come back on for the fried chicken plate on a future trip to Villanova. We are, however, shooting to make the next big Hiker Feed next Saturday at mile 767.1. That is 49 miles from where we camped tonight and completely doable. This is by the same group of women that was feeding everyone a week ago Sunday when I hiked in sick and Christopher picked us up to go home to Atlanta.