Roller coaster

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This post is going to be mostly photos. I’d love to write at length, but have no keyboard access at present. Let’s start with the panorama above… This was four days into Shenandoah National Park, when we finally got some sunshine!

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This, on the other hand, was a more typical view during that stretch. We logged a lot of miles with our friends Rain, Wind, Fog, and Drizzle, and a few with Thunder, Lightning, and Hail. I felt pretty drippy myself after three days of it, but then one evening the sun broke through:

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and it was like a revelation. The pink, gold, and blue sunset was the first color I’d seen in days. Another hiker told me that one reason he likes the AT is because the dramatically low lows make the highs higher. I’ll allow he has a point, though it’s hard to say how much tough weather is worth a mind-blowing view.

The past few days have seen much better weather, and an indecent amount of trail magic. Nothing like a Coke and an Oatmeal Creme Pie at ten in the morning. I feel spoiled. But I’m not about to say no.

Today, Mother’s Day, was exquisite. The trail, consequently, was busier than we’ve ever seen it. We crossed paths with maybe 80 people out there today, and one standoffish turtle–

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–but no other thru hikers. So we had this pleasure all to ourselves:

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Know what that is? Our thousandth mile! A couple hikers before us made the pebble pattern.

Incredible. How did it happen? How did I ever manage to do this? One step at a time.

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