Hello sunshine, there was a beautiful sunrise this morning at the campground as we left. We drove down the Skyline and got stuck behind a motorcycle for awhile, at least Papa didn't play frogger with the animals this morning. "The woods are calling, and I must go to the bathroom." Once we pulled into the drop off place, I already had to go to the bathroom and Papa was so loving to capture a photo of me walking off into the woods. I had some rocky terrain but a great view to cancel it out with. I walked in the woods beside the skyline for awhile and got some great views of the towns below. The morning always flies by so fast for me even when I get up at 5:30 in the morning. Remember when I said Shenandoah was ideal hiking terrain? It's not horrible, but the first few days sure fooled me! Today was a lot of rocky spots and downhill. I sat beside the road to have lunch and didn't break very long since I knew I wasn't making as great of time as prior days. I hiked on and after lunch always seem to last forever, I get the mid-workday blues. The majority of the rest of the day was just hiking up and down in the woods with no view, roads, rivers, or anything exciting. This is where the mental part of the hike gets to you, it's like a marriage after the honeymoon; everyday life seems repeatative and uneventful and you still have to try to find the beauty in it. It's hard work. I had the thoughts to have Papa pick me up at an earlier gap than the original plan; and then I thought, no. I'm not going to take the easy way out when things get tough. I had 6.8 miles left, and I was going to finish them. I had no service so I couldn't listen to Pandora, I think my iPod was dead even though I haven't used it since I charged it; it was just me with myself. I sat down, ate a cosmic brownie and an Advil with a swig of Gatorade and walked on. I saw a deer about 10 feet in front of me and she didn't run off until I pointed my phone at her for a photo; it's like she was affraid of it like a gun but it's a national park. I saw another doe later who wore a collar with an antenna on it like they were tracking her. She wasn't affraid either until I pulled out my phone, I got a photo of her running off. I jogged through the woods trying to make better time, funny how I hate running and here I've been trotting through the woods on the trail. I came to a couple views and road crossings and then it was a steep downhill to the pickup location. I did however have another great, much closer view of the town below at the gap. We drove toward the campground to go to an Italian restaurant called Osteria 510 that Nana and I spotted yesterday. I got an eggplant appetizer that was really good, meat raviolis in a pesto cream sauce; also good. Nana gave me a few of her meatballs, and Papa and I shared tiramisu. Overall it was a great place with really good service. We headed to the grocery store after to get a couple things and Papa and I went in while Nana waited in the car. I ended up seeing HufflePuff, Cat, and Chosen One all at different times in the store; how funny I haven't seen a single person I know on the trail, but I go into town and see a bunch! I got some more bread, deli chicken, muenster cheese, cool ranch Doritos, neosporin, and Gatorade. We headed back to the motorhome and we realized we didn't have the bag with the deli stuff, butter, and neosporin. Papa had to go back to get it and I showered. Nana made me scrambled eggs for the next couple mornings while Papa and I went over the pickup plans for tomorrow. Tomorrow is Nana's birthday so I will be able to spend some time with her which will be nice! All week has a chance of thunderstorms which is no fun, and one day it is supposed to be 95! Yuck. Harpers Ferry this week! Goodnight all.
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