Crushing out six miles to Big Meadows, Huck and I shared a breakfast together or lunch depending on the time. We sat there inside charging our devices, in the blasting AC. It was so cold for me that I had to don my rain jacket for warmth. The employees laughed a bit when I came back in all bundled up. Food devoured and bellies full, we set out to relax in the Big Meadow for a while. Believe it or not here we found a small spot to receive texts and email. Sitting atop the sign we defied the world and took pictures of the meadow before getting back to work.
Back to the road and our hiking, or so we thought. We hadn’t gotten far before we came across a very busy lot. Taking the detour we met three wonderful people. Amy, John and Serene had just walked out of the woods when we approached them as they simultaneously approached us. They asked if we were going to the waterfall and we asked how far it was. The conversation turned from waterfalls to the Appalachian Trail over a few minutes. We asked them questions as they asked us some. Soon the conversation was about trail angels and trail magic as they gave us much needed water and fistfuls of granola bars. In an instant they were our trail angels.
We spent quite a bit of time with them getting to know them and thier expierences. The enthusiasm was palpable, thier excitement feeding us and ours feeding them. I truly felt better meeting them, for the most part the Virginia Blues had been gone but until I would leave the state it would creep up every so often. We continued to talk as they suggested driving behind us playing Eye of the Tiger as we hiked, motivating us. Exchanging our info they promised to see us again and we promised to stay in touch with them. Huck and I were delighted to hear that they would do some magic when we got to New Jersey in a few weeks. I couldn’t contain my excitement as I hugged each one of them as we left. Searching for the song they passed us on the road whooping and yelling.
We continue to be blessed each day we hike, I continue to feel the love and support everyday. Even on my worst days out here its easy to forget the blessings we have on the trail. Each encounter like that serves as an ever constant reminder that I am not alone and that there are larger forces at work looking out for me. I pondered these things as we drowned the miles and views away with music and the sound of our footsteps. Coming to a rather spectacular gap we learned that there were two rocky outcroppings to view from. Sneaking off I took the one to the left and snapped a photo before rejoining Huck on the right.
We sat there at the gap relaxing before running up the side trail to another outcropping. This one barren, reaching out over the foliage, daring you to get to the edge. Snapping our normal photos, we set back down the trail. Making our way to Skyland, we happened across a stable. Here I found a small horse alone in the stable coral eating hay, separated from his pen. Talking soothingly to him and singing a bit, he plodded closer allowing me to pet his snout and mane while he ate. His grey coat, covered in mud fell to dirt as I stroked his hips and belly. It seemed as if he had been out that day working and hadn’t been groomed yet. No better reason to give him some fresh hay and a few loving pets against his toned muscled legs.
When we left skyland after dinner the night and started to fall, we still had a few miles to do. Getting most of the way to our camp, we were graciously picked up by a mother and her son on their way home from New York. They kindly gave us a ride up the drive to our picnic area we were camped at for the evening. We met Whoopee and Squirt there for dinner, which was short for them. Since we were all so tired and beat form the day we went to bed quickly and soundly till morning. Not before sharing snacks and hanging our bear bag.