I woke up to a rooster crowing in the distance. Four Pines really is a cool place. I walked outside to grab a Dr. Pepper from the cooler before taking an early morning shower. I quickly packed and got ready to leave.
Monster, Juan, Oriole and Sweet Potato left about a half hour before us. They’re getting off-trail to relax in Roanoke. It’s likely that Monster will resume his 20-plus mile days and catch us soon.
Savage, Shaggy, Black Santa and I left later. Medicine Man stayed behind – Summer’s limping and he’s taking her to the vet. Before we left, he told us he’d be seeing us soon. I didn’t know what he meant, but would find out later in the day.
The four of us made the half mile hike back to the trailhead and hiked north. The AT approaching McAfee Knob is very popular and well graded. I made great time.
After chatting with a guy metal detecting in the parking lot at VA 311, I started making the climb up to McAgee Knob. I soon discovered I had good cell service. I fell behind the pack and enjoyed some private time, talking on the phone with family. It was great hearing their voices – I’ve been in the woods without service for a while now.
I made my way up to McAfee Knob and asked another hiker to snap a few photos of me on the precipice.
I still didn’t know where Savage, Shaggy and Black Santa were at. The same hiker that took my photo told me they were on the other side of the trail having lunch. Sure enough, I found them cooking, shielded from the wind by a clump of bushes.
We ate and quickly hiked on. It was 1:00pm and we still had another six miles to go before hitting the Tinker Cliffs. I hiked strong on the easy grade.
Black Santa and I stopped for a quick break under a rock outcropping before making the ascent up to Tinker Cliffs.
As I left the cliffs for Lambert’s Meadow Shelter, I noticed it was getting late. I stopped at the shelter to collect water and use the privy before moving on. I decided to take my time, knowing camp would only be a few miles away.
At 7:00pm, I caught up with my hiking buddies, who had just made camp. I quickly set up my tent and the four of us sat down to make dinner. I decided to call it an early night and retired to my tent to upload a week’s worth of journal entries.
Tomorrow calls for an early entry into Daleville for a food resupply – we’re only five miles away right now. I’d like to leave town quickly and be back on the trail before noon.
I’m planning on hiking to Waynesboro, VA in 6 days starting tomorrow morning – it’s 135 miles away. Our plan WAS to arrive in Waynesboro on Thursday and rent a car so we could five to Trail Days for the weekend.
But plans change. Medicine Man called today and needs to get off-trail to care for his dog. Summer is a big part of his hike and I’m proud of the guy for sticking with his plan.
He ended up renting an SUV to drive to the vet and do some slack packing over the coming days. Seeing as how he now has wheels, he told us he would pick us up in Waynesboro and take us Trail Days – that was some good news.
He’ll be able to spend some time looking for decent accommodations while he’s off-trail as well. He additionally wants to meet up at a road crossing in the coming days and surprise us with some trail magic.
I told Black Santa so he can help me play a little trick on Savage and Shaggy. I want to keep the trail magic and trip to Trail Days a secret.
Breakfast: 10 gram protein bar, Powerbar 20 gram bar
Snack: Dot’s Pretzels
Lunch: Parmesan Pasta Side with tuna and bacon bits
Snack: beef jerky, Dot’s Pretzels
Dinner: Kraft Mac and Cheese with tuna