June 20: mile 956: Gravel Springs Shelter (hut)

I woke up early and took a shuttle back to the trail from the hostel owner.  The weather was hot but not unbearable.  While I was contemplating hiking alone again, I caught up with Dirty Duck, Mishap, Scout, and Sun.  I also started hiking with Bambi who I just met at the hostel (not to be confused with Bambiface who is someone different.  Bambi is a young starving artist who is doing the trail on a budget of .75 a mile.  Consequently she had been tenting in the yard of the hostel instead of the inside.

We all agreed to shoot for a shelter around 18 miles down trail.  The rocky conditions persisted in parts but the hiking was generally pretty easy.  This would be our last day hiking in the Shanandoah National Park.  I recommend the park for beginners because of its relatively tame ups and downs, its abundant camp grounds, and really nice views.  Thirteen miles into the hike we all ended up at a camp store/grill where we eat, drank some beers, and bullshitted for a couple hours.  We knocked out of the last five miles and arrived just before dark.  The new boots are a miracle compared to the old ones– I can actually step in rocks without injuring my feet.  We are ready to make the final push to Harpers Ferry — the half way mark of the AT.  Our ETA will hopefully be Saturday.  Happy Trails.

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