Woke up around 4am and sat for a bit to watch for Lyrid meteors – saw a few and went back to bed.
We all wanted to get into Damascus for breakfast, so Big Yank set his alarm for 6am (he wanted nature sounds so the alarm was ducks.) We were on the trail at 7.
I knew of a big surprise – OWL’s friend Bill was going to meet us in Damascus for her birthday – and so I was doing my best to send texts about our progress. Originally I thought we would be there by noon or 1 but at the pace OWL/Shutterbug/Techie/Big Yank were going, I knew they would be there sooner. My feet hurt pretty bad so I slowed down and didn’t even try to keep up. I got to the Virginia border and they were still there! Took a few photos and had a wig of Big Yank’s 40 mile beer, then said “Hey Owl, I really want to walk into Damascus with you”. She said “ok, you lead”. So off we went – me in front with OWL, Shutterbug, Techie, Big Yank, and Smiles behind. We sang songs at the top of our lungs most of the way down…Bohemian Rhapsody, Ring of Fire, etc…had a really good time.
We were really booking it down the mountain and got into town about 10:45. Didn’t see Bill but we stopped to take pictures at the “Welcome to Damascus” sign. Bill pulled up in his van, rolled down the window, and said “Hey little girl do you want a ride?” and then laughed. OWL didn’t hear him, so he repeated himself. She looked at me kinda confused and said “That sounds like Bill!”….then looked around and saw him. It was awesome.
We went into town and stopped at the Blue Blaze Cafe for breakfast. Bill brought a chocolate cake and candles, so we had cake for an appetizer. Then we all ordered the “Iron Mountain Breakfast” – 5 pancakes, layered with sausage and bacon, 3 eggs on top, with potatoes around the side. An amazing hiker breakfast. I did not finish mine.
Found a place to stay – a room with two twin beds (awesome!), and then went to the outfitter. As soon as OWL asked for her packages, the outfitter said “hey, we are happy to see you…do you have a hand truck?” We went to the back and she had 22! pieces of mail (three of which were our regular maildrop). She was so excited! And the outfitter was also excited because now the mailroom had room for other hiker packages.
We went to the b&b to unpack. OWL took first shower, and after she got out and started opening her prizes I started untaping my feet. My pinky toe on my left foot smelled like death. Very sore and red and swollen and tender…so I took a shower and then off to the doctor I went. Thankfully they saw me (even thoguh it was very close to closing time), gave me an antibiotic shot and a prescription, and sent me on my way.
Met up with Comet, a Damascus native I met through metafilter, and we talked for a bit at the b&b. UV and Whole Bean showed up with Mazey (who had attracted a very enthusiastic fan dog)…they were trying to find some place to camp and Comet let them camp in her yard under her apple tree! What an awesome lady.
Went to $1.50 taco night at Blue Blaze Cafe, where I ate 5 tacos and some fries and a beer (Fat Tire, as usual). Comet & I had a little mini mefi meetup! (No shots, though). Super fun to hang out with locals and get to visit a little bit.
Whole Bean ate 12 tacos! – he looked like crap afterwards (hah). The cafe is connected to a bar, and the crew from the shelter was singing karaoke. So we ran over to the bar and sang Bohemian Rhapsody – MUCH easier with the words on a screen!
Said goodnight to Comet – we are going to hang out tomorrow also, I think – and went to bed. What a great day.