Stretch and I split a half gallon of Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Ripple for breakfast and then left the hostel with Uncle Buck. We split off soon after though to take the side trail to 4H for $4 pool and showers. At first we were the only people in the pool and it was glorious. But apparently a nearby day camp is shuttling its campers over this week to swim and we were soon surrounded by almost 100 people. We hopped out for lunch at the concessions stand and then dared to go back in to cool off one more time before hiking again.
We soon came across trail magic, a cooler full of cold water from some former thru hikers that live just off the trail, with a note saying hikers could refill the cooler with their hose if it was empty, and we could also camp in their side yard. Very nice of them!
Four miles into the hike, we came to the road to Front Royal. Stretch has been there before and loved it so she was hoping when we appeared at the road, someone would just stop and offer us a ride. We didn’t actually need anything in town, and we were trying to get to a road farther up to hitch to a restaurant called the Apple House, but I said if you want a ride, stick your thumb out. We both did and a truck pulled over immediately so we were soon in town.
We dropped our packs off at the visitor center and walked around a bit. I grabbed a few things at the grocery store but it was raining when we left and it was on the other side of town from the visitor center so we caught a quick hitch back there as well. We decided that we wouldn’t make it to the restaurant in time hiking and we should hitch there too. A woman picked us up within five minutes.
We got to the restaurant and found out that the barbecue parfait Stretch had had there before was a special and they didn’t have it today. Very sad, we got barbecue sandwiches instead, then a couple of bottles of local wine, Fox Meadow Freezeland Red, to take back to the hotel. We got our hitch back within a few minutes as well: everyone in this town loves hikers. We grabbed a hotel room and vegged out the rest of the night.