We had a pretty good climb out of camp this morning. As promised, “whatever you hear, Virginia is NOT flat!” (we got this from several northbound hikers, but not one of them had ever told us Virginia WAS flat). It’s not as flat as Pennsylvania, that’s for sure! Today was another very hot day, and both Ryley and I have several chaffing spots from the hot and sweaty hiking yesterday – thighs, under my arms where my pack straps are, back, and other uncomfortable unmentionables. We stopped for lunch at a remote campsite off trail and Ryley actually wrung out his boxers… Yep, ew.
We hiked down to a gap (the road to the town of Front Royal) and walked 100yds to a hiker hostel where we were welcomed by owner Lisa with cold lemonade, cookies, and a cool place to sit (AC!). We stayed for almost an hour chatting with her and cooling down! Then got back on the trail and hiked up ~1500ft to the entrance to Shenandoah National Park where we self-registered, and another 500 ft to where we got water and camped for the night. There is a resident deer in our campsite so we are looking forward to huffing wheezy snorting noises all night… Ryley has had a pretty good bout of cramps last night and tonight, which look pretty awful and painful. We are both feeling tired after yesterday’s big miles, rollercoaster, and heat. Apparently it was even hotter today at 93F and we got 22 miles in, so we’ll probably also feel tired tomorrow? It is thankfully cooler camping up at almost 3000ft, though – the highest we’ve been since Mt Greylock in Massachusetts!
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