I’ve gotten to see a lot of hikers lately. I stopped to visit Stretch on my way to Dolly Sods and got to hang out with her and Bamboo.
Then on the way from Dolly Sods, I stopped at Mailman’s parents’ house right outside of Shenandoah since he and Whisper were there on a road trip. Little Bear and Stretch both came the next morning and we all planned to hike in the park. Unfortunately, it was the one day of rain for the week, but we loaded up our gear any way and decided we’d go eat lunch at Skyland and then decide whether to hike. It just got worse the farther up we drove though, until we were in complete fog and rain. The hike was out so we decided to wine tour instead. But first, blackberry milkshakes! Skyland only had the ice cream, not the shakes, but it was still amazing.
At Skyland, we ran into two current southbound thru hikers, Cactus and Vulture, and a former thru hiker who is currently bicycling from Maine to Florida, Track Meat. I invited them to join us and bought them lunch, and then we all invited them back to Mailman’s parents’ house to get out of the weather.
First, we stopped at Copper Fox Distillery for a tour and some tasting. We tried a few wineries after that, only to discover it’s too late in the season for any of them to be open on a Wednesday. We went and bought a few bottles of wine to have our own tasting at home instead.
I got so much amazing trail magic last year so it felt great to be able to pay it forward to some hikers this year. I only ran into a few thru hikers over the summer and I always seemed to forget to bring treats with me on my hikes to hand out.
We said goodbye the next morning, but not without directing them towards Sharkey, one of the best trail angels ever.