We woke up and had a nice breakfast at the brewery. We organized our packs to be picked up by Mishap’s mom later in the day. I took a shuttle to the trail with Dirty Duck, Mishap, Sun, Cody, and Scout.
The terrain was very forgiving and relatively flat. Given that and not having packs, we flew down the trail making big miles in pretty short order. By 3 o’clock we had hiked 15 miles with 5 to go. About that time we came upon a six foot timber rattler stratteling the trail. Scout surprised it first and it coiled up and started to rattle. It’s an unmistakable sound, I could hear from 100 feet down trail as I came up in it. I’m just glad that it was on the trail rather than right next to it. They say the second hiker to pass is the one that gets bit after the first hiker pisses it off. We climbed off the trail and gave it a wide berth. Right after the rattlesnake the sky opened up and we had to finish the last five miles in x driving rainstorm. We got to the road into waynesboro at about 7:00 pm sopping wet. We hitched a ride in the back of a pickup and had him take us directly to Ming Garden– a almost mythical Chinese Buffet that everyone agreed is the best on the trail. We were a sight to see at Ming’s– wet, muddy, smelly, and fresh off the trail. The Buffet did not disappoint. It was the best one that I have ever had.
We finished eating and checked into the motel for the requisite shower and a six pack. A pleasant surprise was discovering Blue Stem staying across the hall. He had been in waynesboro for five days trying to rehab his knee. We had a couple of beers and caught up for a couple hours. Tomorrow will be a much needed zero and opportunity to resupply. Happy trails.