Day 88 – June 3 – 10.7 miles – Front Royal to Manassas Gap
Our friend Gabe showed up around 9 in the morning. We hadn’t seen him in a few years and it was great to see him. We went out to eat breakfast at a local diner. I felt bad because I was a little distracted because by all the errands we still had to do before we got back on trail.
After breakfast he brought us to the Dollar General to resupply and then the Post Office the send our next resupply to Harpers Ferry.
With the errands out of the way Stoat and I asked Gabe if he could give us a ride to Subway. He looked at us in surprise and said, “We just ate like two hours ago!” “Yes”, we said, “That was breakfast. Now its lunch time!” Our hiker hunger was in full effect.
Hiker Hunger is a term that refers to a thru hikers ability to always be hungry.
Over lunch, I was able to fully concentrate on Gabe. He told us the story of how he met his wife, how he proposed, where they were living now, etc. We were having a great conversation and only time constraints made us get moving again.
When Gabe dropped us off, we told him he had to take a picture with us on the Appalachian Trail. We got out of the car and Scarecrow was standing at the trail head! We hadn’t seen him for a while and thought he was ahead of us. He was for a while, but he took a zero in Front Royal and now we were on the same schedule again.
Gabe, Stoat, and I walked a little south on the AT and we took a group picture.
After we took the picture it was time get going. Stoat and I had known Gabe since high school. We had been very close throughout our teenage years and early twenties. We had gone through a lot of great times and some absolutely terrible times together. Throughout the good and the bad we forged a friendship that couldn’t be broken. No matter how much time had passed.
When we said goodbye there must have been someone cutting onions nearby. All of our eyes were watering. Strange.
When Stoat and I got back on trail it was 2pm. We would have to push the pace to make up some miles.
Five miles in, we came to a shelter that had a large deck area. Scarecrow was taking a break there and there was some sort of family get together there. Kids were milling about all over the place. We decided to take a break there as well. While we were snacking, the kids came over to us to tell us a “scary” story. I don’t think any part of the story made sense but we played along anyway.
After leaving that shelter we hiked another five miles to the Manassas Gap shelter and called it a day. The Manassas Gap shelter was packed and so were the camping spots nearby. Stoat and I eventually found a spot that would work for us, while Scarecrow decided to hike a little farther.
We had a great day and we were really looking forward to tomorrow. The 1000 mile marker was coming up.