The first few miles flew by, before I knew it I had done 5 miles a d was reaching the shelter by eight in the morning. Here I was a few minutes behind my friends. The machine, the tall one, had informed me they had just left, I took off with a fury. Climbing the switchbacks I looked up the hill for Huckleberry and who ever else he may have thought was my friend. Back and forth I climbed up the mountain side. Then high up, maybe 50 yards away, I spotted them. Calling out to them I heard a familiar voice yell back, asking if I knew who it was. Not knowing I yelled back who is it.
Zen excitedly replied. Just like that I was off straight up the mountain side, no trail, no grip, no problem. I easily climbed the very steep mountain side to catch up with my long lost friend. I hadn’t seen Zen since before trail days when he left Hot Springs. I was so excited to see him, he was just excited to see me. Neither on of us thought we’d see each other again. The big miles I had been doing had payed off, I was catching and passing my friends. The three of us hiked on with Zen’s friend in tow. The four musketeers back together again. We caught up as we walked, sharing stories and asking questions.
Just like that we hit skyline drive, we climbed up and over the guard rail to our last big section of Virginia. We weren’t there ten minutes before a passerby asked to take our picture and another offered us a ride into town. Huckleberry and I took the wonderful woman up on her offer and threw our stuff in the back of her truck. This gracious woman took us on a tour of the two before dropping us off for breakfast at the local diner. Here we parted ways and I ate pie and cobbler till I was sick.
We found showers and a buffet in town, making short use of it. The buffet is a hiker meeting ground, we met Zen and Zeta there for lunch. We feasted and told stories of our trails, this happens quite often when we finally get together. Town is like a meeting place for all hikers in the area, you see people you haven’t seen in a while and ones that were just a few miles ahead of you. Charging all of our devices and resupplied we discussed whether or not to stay for the night. Since Zen was ahead good friend of mine we opted to stay the night with him, having a beer and relaxing for the night. We set up camp in the field outside the old dupont site and rested well with eh droning noise of the factory in the background. Tomorrow would start the Shenandoah Mountains.