Wednesday–June 23, 2021
Location–VRBO, Luray, AT Mile 962.7
Though scores of thru northbounders have passed me, there are apparently many more still nearby or behind. Alison has been the busiest ever, taking hikers in, shuttling them. We’re fortunate to have gotten a room the past two nights.
The kitchen is very busy this morning. So, our decision is to hit Hardee’s for breakfast on the way out. This is usually a jovial and talkative time, but the mood this morning is a bit somber. Barry will be leaving after he drops me off–returning to his family, projects unattended, tasks put off. There’s a short blueblaze trail leading from parking to the AT. “Make sure you turn right when you get to the trail.” says Barry. Heading into the woods, I manage a final goodbye gesture. Thanks dear friend; hope to see you again on up the trail.
Though I’ve a fair amount of climbing today, 2,000+ feet up and over Sugarloaf, the Hogbacks, the Marshals, the treadway is by far the friendliest in weeks. I’m able to stride out without risk of tripping and busting it for a change.
The Kents, Chris, Melissa, and children, Collier & Camden, are coming all the way from Montgomery to support me the remainder of this week and I’m finally able to get a cell signal to let them know I’ll be reaching the crossing at Skyline Drive earlier than expected–and they’re right here to fetch me a little after three. What joy seeing these dear friends again. This day has come around!
Be happy for this moment.
This moment is your life.