Day 64: Paul C. Wolfe Shelter to Rockfish Gap

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.






6 thoughts on “Day 64: Paul C. Wolfe Shelter to Rockfish Gap

  1. I can relate to sleeping with mice – under our sleeping bags in Germany, 46 years ago!! Gross is right!

  2. Hello! I have checked your blog periodically for the past few weeks. Great blog! I was just on the AT in Shenandoah National Park for quick over night and wanted to give you the heads up to check for ticks.. They seem to really be active this year as my girlfriend and I both pulled at least 20 each off our legs throughout the hike. Good luck and hope you enjoy SNP!

  3. You’re on track to be in Harper’s Ferry by May 24. You are making good time. At your pace you will be in NH for the 4th of July. Glasgow is a great trail town, not everyone goes into it to experience it, glad you got to experience it. You will fly through Maryland, great shelters. When you get to Boiling Springs, PA, nice trail town (mile 1115). The Allenbury resort caters to hikers, if you hit it right they have an AYCE buffett, and they had a great sushi chef with outrageous delicious sushi. When you get there, the ATC office right on the trail will have info and flyers about the Allenbury. You will have big mile days in PA. Don’t stay in Port Clinton (if you sleep at the pavilion you will be up all night from the sound of trucks on the highway right near the pavilion), although the Port Clinton hotel has great food. If you need gear, Cabella’s in Hamburg (1.7miles away) has a hiker shuttle that will pick you up in Pot Clinton. I know this is a lot of information way before you get there, but you will be there by June. Oh, don’t fear the PA rocks, they are tedious but not that bad, you will still do 20 plus mile days in the rocky section (only 90 miles worth).

  4. As alwalys enjoy your writing. Glad you found good trail angels in Waynesboro. It is a great trail town. Loved the photos also. Sorry to report that some of your fellow thru hikers were injured today in an accident as we walked in the hiker parade in Damascus at Trail Days. You will probably hear about it. I believe one of the more serious injuries was Rainbow Bright and I can’t remember the other girl. I believe Rainbow ended up under the vehicle. This 87yo man driving the only car in the parade of hikers evidently had a seizure or heart attack, slumped over and the car accelerated to 25mph according to the police chief and about 50-60 hikers were hit. The car also hit a parked car and veered across the street into the bridge. A fireman and some hikers were able to grab the door and eventually cut the ignition to stop the car. This was just past the Dairy King where you are breakfast as we were walking down toward the other end of the main street. Met so many thru hikers 2013 and found some who had met you guys. Also enjoyed seeing many from last year and getting reacquainted. Was really fun until the fellow plowed into the parade. I was aboaut 50 feet ahead of them. Be safe and glad you had such good hosts in Waynesboro. I had a great time there with Walt and Pat, wonderful couple and great trail angels. Hugs to both of you.

  5. Thanks for your kind words. It was our pleasure to host you, and we were missing you as soon as you left. Safe travels, friends.

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