I said goodbye to my family and hit the trail around 7:30. They were planning to hike back to their vehicles and meet us later up the trail at another road crossing. My foot felt better today (maybe it's the new shoes?) but was still stiff and painful. The morning terrain was fairly easy. I hiked alone most of the morning and with Little Knee from Canada for about half a mile. I'd seen him on the trail a few times but this was the first time I met him. We took a break at The Priest Shelter along with Pappy, Fiber, and Veto. The shelter log there included confessions to "the priest"...funny stuff! We then prepared ourselves for the 3000-foot, 4.2-mile downhill! Thankfully not as painful as expected; I occupied my mind by singing and made decent time. Muffin Man and I were the last two to arrive at the road crossing, and my family got there about a half hour later. We ate snacks and drank sodas and said goodbye again. We had another 2.8 miles to go to Harpers Creek Shelter where I'm sleeping inside tonight. Fiber and Veto actually went on ahead to the next shelter; we'll either catch them tomorrow or see them in Waynesboro on Tuesday. Aunt Tina, Uncle Mark, and MB decided to hike in and spend another night on the trail! It's been nice having them here this evening! Lots of section hikers as well and a former thru-hiker, Zipper, full of advice and stories...a good night! It's supposed to be hot again tomorrow so we're going to get up and leave early to try to beat the heat. The foot is swollen again and a little bruised so it has me worried. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I wake up and nothing hurts?
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