May 17, 2013
Today’s mileage: 5.2
Total mileage: 857.5
Last night was eventful. To say the least.
A girl in the shelter had been throwing up from eating bad cheese and I found out the next morning that I had been sleeping under a mouse’s collection of toilet paper wads and other remnants. That mysterious object that startled us both awake last night…it was a mouse scurrying across our heads. Gross. A woman tenting nearby had hung her skirt in the shelter before we had gotten there and I had slept under it. Come to find out this morning that a mouse had chewed a huge hole through it and another girl’s socks. Again, gross. And I say that because all of this was going on right above me as I slept. I found some mouse turds by my head this morning too. And one more time: gross.
After a quick hike to the road where the Blue Ridge Parkway ends and Skyline Drive begins, we were ready to find a ride into Waynesboro. However, a ride found us in the form of Pathfinder, who happened to be at the gap when we arrived. She has hiked 2,500 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and moved to the area to be near the AT. She gladly gave us a ride to the post office and we enjoyed talking with her on the way. She even gave us some tips on how to best approach the Ming Garden Buffet. Most importantly, go slow!
We picked up a package from my mom full of food and to my delight, included two packages of tortellini! We resupplied at Kroger and then hit up the infamous Ming Garden Buffet. This isn’t your typical buffet, this place was so good. They had Chinese food, sushi, fried chicken, mac and cheese, salad bar, and tons of desserts. I managed to get down three plates before calling it quits. A must stop for any thru-hiker.
We spent a bit of time at the library before David, one of my blog followers picked us up for a night at his home nearby. We were dirty, smelly, and sweaty and in much need of a shower and laundry. You know when you go into a situation thinking it’s going to be one way and it turns out to be completely the opposite. Well, this was not one of those times. David and his family went above and beyond the call of duty as first time trail angels.
Before heading to their home, David took us to Starr Hill Brewery where we had a couple of beers and talked about the trail. The beer was awesome. There were a lot of UVA students and their families there since it’s graduation weekend. We headed to David’s house where we met two of his three daughters, Olivia and Tatum, his wife, Lisa, and their dog, Belle. We got in a shower, started our laundry, and enjoyed an awesome dinner of pizza outside on the deck. We noted that it was more like an August night for us down here.
When I found out that Charlottesville wasn’t too far off the trail, I thought it might be cool to get off and spend some time there. I went there ten years ago on a family trip and absolutely loved it there. I’ve wanted to go back ever since. And a big reason we wanted to go is because we’re huge Dave Matthews Band fans and the band was formed there in the early 90s. Dave Matthews worked at Miller’s, a downtown bar, when he first moved there. If you’re a DMB fan then you want to hit up Miller’s if you’re in Charlottesville. So when David offered to take us there tonight, we were ecstatic. When I had gone to Charlottesville in 2003, I hadn’t yet gotten into the band, so I didn’t even know about Miller’s.
We headed over after dinner and had a beer at Miller’s, your typical bar. It’s not like there’s DMB memorabilia plastered all over the place, it’s just more about the act of being there. We enjoyed a beer, walked around town, and got an ice cream at Chap’s.
We couldn’t ask for better hosts. David and his family have given us a warm bed, hot shower, clean clothes, good food, and much, much more. This was the first time that they had helped out hikers and man do we feel lucky that they decided to help us out. Thank you! You guys are beyond amazing for helping us out! We definitely won’t forget our time with all of you. Listening to some good bluegrass, having some good beer, and hanging out with a really cool family. Trail magic doesn’t get any better than this.