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It looks like some locals dumped a bunch of food into the firepit! Like… beans, rice, potatoes. Somebody watched them do it. So that’s what’s calling the bears. Then the people left, of course.

I’m on the furious side, to he honest. Like… why on earth would you do that? At least the thrus are showing up. Burner’s here, and four gents I just met. Colonel, Red… and I already forget the rest. Yesterday’s Waynesboro crowd, doing 22 in a day.

I think somebody’s making a fire to burn the garbage. BEARS, STAY AWAY!

I can’t wait for this blithering weekend to be over.


It really is beautiful here—or, I should say, the beautiful parts alternate with the Virginia-ugly parts. This shelter, though, Blackrock Hut, has the worst tenting spots I’ve ever seen on the AT. All rocks, and nothing flat! I hope my mat doesn’t puncture. I think I’ve stuffed enough padding under there, and it’s lying on top of my 1/8-inch foam.

This holiday weekend presented a lot of challenges. In the end, I decided I didn’t want to fight the park, the heat, the rules and regs, the holiday crowds, and the flora and fauna, so I gave myself permission to hike this weekend as though it’s a hobby rather than a job. So, 13-mile days, and stay at the shelters. But then, you know…you’re stuck with whatever the shelter is. I’m planning to go back to normal on Tuesday or so, when the weekenders have gone home. The Guthooks sites seem to be following the park rules, so I have a little more confidence.

I’m a little bit nervous. There are bears here. At this shelter, I mean. Guthooks has plenty of reports. Two people saw bears just a little while ago, maybe 2/10 back (or they both saw the same bear).

Last night it rained. This afternoon it rained and thundered, but it was fleeting. This is the summer pattern. Hot days, afternoon or evening rain.

Hard to believe I’ll be in Pennsylvania in a couple of weeks. When I get to Front Royal, I’ll try to work out some dates, in case any of my PA peeps want to meet up.

Pilgrim’s off the trail. 🙁 Somebody in his family was put into hospice, so he needs to go home to support. He might be back, though. He’s got a plan where he wants to get two sets of car keys and a partner and drive/hike all the way north.

Oh, speaking of plans! There’s s young hiker, One Way, who’s been calling sn Ubet from Skyline Drive every day and getting a ride into Waynesboro for food. He wad there three times yesterday! 😁 Still made his miles, though!

[Beth, if you see this, I should be at Loft Mountain tomorrow sometime, probably late morning or early afternoon. If you’re not on the way home and you want to say hi, text me! Do you still have my number from Facebook? And if you’re heading home, then next time! Raincheck!]

Have I mentioned the buttetflies? They’re everywhere, and gorgeous!