Day 78 – 15.8 miles to Thornton Gap and Luray at 941.4

Rain, rain, go away.

It was raining whenever I woke up during the night, it was raining all morning, raining all afternoon and then it rained all evening for good measure.

I knocked out a quick 6 miles to get to Skyland, another hotel and cabin complex just off trail with a fancy restaurant and gift shop but also a cafe where they don’t (seem to) mind hikers messing the place up. I was only in there for 40 minutes but while drying out and having a coffee and family approached me and asked me about my hike and I told the kids about the wildlife I had seen and things like that. I even let Dad try on my pack. As I was leaving the Mum called after me, “You’re awesome!” which shows how perceptive she is.

Due to the rain there aren’t many pictures today. Here is a salamander.

And here is a picture of how rocky the trail is. Ok, not usually this bad but it was for this part.

And here is a video of one of the best views of the Blue Ridge mountains: YouTube

Around lunchtime I realised that my target mileage put me around the place that the one hostel accessible in SNP does pickup. It seemed masochistic to deliberately avoid a dry and warm evening and night so I called Alison at Open Arms in Luray and she agreed to pick me up later in the afternoon. Now I had something to look forward to the afternoon hiking passed easier as every piece of mud on me was not going to survive much longer.

I found two college kids from Massachusetts, Alex and Tommy, also waiting and shivering. They are hiking 60 miles out-and-back for 12 days to prepare for a thru-hike attempt next year. Once we got picked up and taken to what is effectively Alison’s private home, we got cleaned up and laundry done. I was hungry already so microwaved a pizza and took a bite only to find it much crunchier than expected, which soon became apparent was due to my tooth being chipped – a chunk size actually. Change of plans for tomorrow then as Alison will find me an emergency dentist.

We then got taken to a Chinese restaurant for dinner and hung out until bed.

4 thoughts on “Day 78 – 15.8 miles to Thornton Gap and Luray at 941.4

  1. Oh No. What a disaster. You seem to have been walking and sleeping in the rain for days. And now you have a cracked tooth. :( Still hopefully you will keep dry at dentist, there’s always a silver lining!!! PS we’ve got a corker of a thunderstorm going on at this minute, it’s spreading…..

  2. Perception is the mother of much flattery ;)

    Good luck with the tooth – don’t chew on too many rocks for a wee while.

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