The return to the Trail was most therapeutic to my ailing heart. I got over it, I had the Trail now. The first hiker I would bump into would be Just Brian. After some encouraging words and a guess at Mark’s location, he was off. Wingfoot also walked by and we talked for a while. I spent next night back with Frodo and the French Stooge. Frodo had just shot a couple of rolls of film on the wild strawberries that I would be enjoying for myself during my walk south the next morning.
Continuing south, I saw Mark walking across Bald Knob quite a distance away so I spun up a haebar, and hurried to meet up with him. Soon HAE was reunited and headed north again. That rainy evening at Wiggins Creek Shelter was a lively one shared with the Traveler, Mule, and a section hiker named Russ. The morning featured a wild strawberry feed and a trip to Montebello Campground. A hot shower, a post office visit and a camp store wallet thrashing then on to Crab Tree Falls. We took the trail along the falls, enjoying the cool cascades and the well built walkway. I dropped my camera 20 feet, it burst open, I re-assembled it and it worked fine. Lucky!
Just before Tye River was a huge patch of day lilies loaded with the edible unopened flowers. Forever a Euell Gibbons fan and a lover of free food, I gathered a couple of pounds and added them to our dinner. That evening the camp was next to the bridge at Tye River with Russ, the Traveler, Dale and Roger.
There was 27 miles to Rockfish Gap and the return to Waynesboro. We hiked only 10 miles to Maupin Field Shelter, where we had an eventful evening with a mostly white and incredibly bold skunk that enjoyed licking our equipment. 17 more miles the next day, we criss crossed the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple of times on our way, getting to town after a successful hitch at Rockfish Gap. The traditional camping location in town was at the fire station and we stayed there the first night, but the next night we spent at Heather’s parents house. We were anxious to move on to the Shenandoah National Park in the morning.
…continue the expedition, read: Shenandoah, Land of Beer and Deer[link]