It was an early morning today; Muffin Man woke me around 5:30. My foot was sore but felt better than yesterday!...It'll get better eventually, right? I readied my gear, said goodbye to my aunt, uncle, and MB, and was on the trail at 6:30. The day started with a tough 2000-foot climb that was pretty slow going for me. It was setting up to be another hot day...dripping sweat by 7 in the morning!
I made it up over the mountain and the next 3 miles to Maupin Field Shelter were downhill. About 2 minutes before the shelter I saw something move on the trail about 50 yards ahead of me. Bear! The mother ran into the woods as soon as she detected me and I saw two tiny cubs run after her...so neat! Being by myself, I was a little scared though so I started singing to make noise and got my pepper spray out and held it in my hand as I walked past the area where they were...but they were long gone. No time to take a picture but everyone keeps saying we'll see lots of bears in Shenandoah so maybe I'll get some pictures there.
After a break at the shelter I was back on the trail for 6 more rocky miles to a crossing of the Blue Ridge Parkway where there was trail magic! Pappy, Tomahawk, Muffin Man, Rem, Frosty, and Hamburglar were there as well and we lunched and I enjoyed a Propel water and some oreos. The next 9.2 miles were hot but not overly difficult although my feet were getting sore from all of the rocks. I made the 22 miles to Paul C. Wolfe Shelter where I met up with the rest of the crew. Sleeping inside tonight with the group plus Tomahawk, Rem, Frosty, and Hamburglar. Tomorrow we're doing 5 miles into Waynesboro...AYCE pancakes!!
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