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Day 34 – The best trail magic

The low after doing my longest day of the trip to date was a little lower than I was hoping. My feet were tired. I was tired and I was not ready to embrace the remaining 23 miles in to my resupply. As I’ve said before, any point above 13-15 miles into a town is tough. It means I eat lunch on the trail as well as consume snacks throughout the day but my mind is on the town stop. It also means I need to push pretty hard to make sure I arrive at the post office before it closes. Today all these factors were in play. I toddled along through the ups and down, over knobs and under logs and even crossed my old friend: the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have followed this scenic road for 100 miles. After crossing it I took a break and what to my wondering eyes should appear? A naked old man in a day pack and sandles strolling through the wilderness. I was thoroughly confused especially as it seemed there were many day hikers out and about in the area. The man looked like he could have lived out there and in the 70 degree weather he was dressed for it. From here I didn’t let my pack touch the ground and flew through the miles. Eventually I reached rockfish gap and began the hitch into town. Right away I had a lady that went by Nana pick me up. We struggled through finding the post office together and eventually arrived. She hinted at helping me out beyond the ride but in being out of society and in the woods I did not pick up on it. I followed up the post office with an all you can eat buffet. It was very average, but I took full advantage. So much so in fact that I got politely pushed to end my dominance of the buffet. After two hours of continual eating (over 9 full plates) the waiter came up with the check while I was still eating and asked if I would like to leave. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that saved me from the overeating disease that has ravaged this country. I waddled to the YMCA where I got a free shower and saw my trail angel Nana again. From here she invited me to come stay in her spare room in the nearby Crozet instead of camping in the YMCA field. It was amazing. A sheer stroke of kindness from a wonderful lady. She brought me into her home and was an amazing host, even offering French toast in the morning. From someone who may have all but lost faith in humanity, people like Nana really help bring me back to optimism and appreciation of how many great people are really out there. The trail is a giving place and will always provide.

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