Start: Brookside Cabins/US 211/Thornton Gap
End: Big Meadow Lodge
Mileage: 17.6 (+0.8 for side trail)
This morning, I was able to get a hitch from a forest ranger out to the trail, arriving by 7am. Unfortunately, one of my water bottles fell out on her car. Thankfully, I have a spare platypus bag which can act as my second water bottle. One of my poles also broke as I was bring it out this morning. I hiked for much of the morning with one pole but around 10am, I met a few women who were just finishing up an overnight hike through part of SNP. We chatted for quite a while and at mentioning I only had one pole, one of them insisted I take one of hers. It was the sweetest trail magic I’ve ever received. She was truly a trail angel.
I also saw another black bear today. This one growled at me to let me know it felt crowded when I happened upon it so I backed off and gave it space to mosey away.
Today, I climbed Mary’s Rock, The Pinnacle, and Stony Man Mountain. The mileage was quick and easy. I arrived at the lodge by 5:15pm. I’ve had lots of lovely food, showered, and put my clothes on a line to dry. One more day until my zero day and my friend from Charlottesville took my tent and sleeping system so my pack will be lighter!