Highlights from the last 130 miles:
Came across a swimming hole and jumped in, was actually warm enough that day to do so, even took along the waterproof digital camera.
Me and two other thru hikers, Dozer and Funyuns hitched into the nearby campground for milkshakes and hotdogs to cook that night, even played basketball..probably the only time on the trail that’ll happen. Saw 2 bears that night that came down to the stream in front of the shelter. Someone yelled ‘bear’ and I jumped out of my hammock and took off running straight towards the person shouting. They kind of just chilled on the other side of the stream looking at us and then wandered back up the hill. Awesome. Took 800 miles but glad it happened.
Last minute decision to go into Buena Vista for a cheap hostel and shower. Ate 2 ice cream blizzards and an entire 3 topping extra large pizza by myself.
Hit up Fresh Ground for the last time, he had decided that his time on the trail is done for now. He happened to have stuff to make tacos and got real excited when I ate a bunch.
Walked through the pouring rain for what seemed like days, but hit a big milestone and had my longest mileage day yet. 30 miles! Through mostly rain, but I was determined to sleep in a shelter that night, so 30 was the only option.
Also, me and Jelly, another thru hiker, came across two AT volunteer trail maintainers painting white blazes on the trees. Let us help paint a blaze. It was awesome. I must be a true nerd now.
Into Waynesboro this morning to see dad again and get out of the rain. Stopped at a diner for all you can eat pancakes and knocked back 11. Followed that night by an all you can Chinese buffet. Put down 3 full plates and then 4 ice creams. Good stuff.
Annnd finally, said goodbye to my shoes. Thanks for nearly 1,000 miles of memories!