Met dad to hike again in Waynesboro, VA and started the Shenandoahs on a rainy day. Felt bad for dad, every time he joins me it seems to rain. Walked for most of the day in the rain, but cleared up by the time we got to camp. The next 2 days turned out pretty nice. Warm sunny days with lots of views. Parted ways with dad and continued on north.
Overall, I had pretty mixed feelings about the park, which is regarded as one of the prettiest sections on the trail. It didn't disappoint in that area though. It follows Skyline Drive for more than 100 miles, and you can either see, hear, or you actually cross the road at least 20 times a day. So as far as a wilderness factor goes, I give it about a 2. Pretty easy hiking, very scenic views, and cafes and camp stores basically trail side. But it's also very popular, so you share the trail with people with coolers and potato chip bags, baby bjornes, and entire buses of Japanese tourists. It's a mixed bag. And I didn't see a single bear, extra bummer.
Hit a whole new level of hiker hunger and tore through my food with ease. So I went into Front Royal to resupply and wandered into the Visitors Center, where I struck up conversation with the woman who worked there. She offered me a ride back to the trail head which was awesome by itself, but after she went to drive me, she went a step further and offered me a shower at her house. A smart trail bum never turns down a hot shower. I gladly accepted. She and her husband fed me pasta, a huge bowl of ice cream, and dropped me back at the trail. Awesome awesome people. I've heard stories like this happening along the trail, but truly amazing to experience it first hand! Great people. (pictured below)
On to Bears Den Hostel tomorrow (which actually looks like an old castle) then meeting Deanna and rolling into Harpers Ferry!