Great Meadows Visitor Center 923.5June 28, 2017 in the United States
In the afternoon I had another bear encounter. He was quite far away and I heard it more than I actually saw him but it was definitely a black bear and he looked big. That's the first one in the Shenandoahs which is supposed to have the largest population of black bears in the world, about 1 per square mile. But we still haven't seen any cubs :(
At around 6 we arrived at a campground where we resupplied on beer and ice cream. After paying I asked the shop owner of they have a hiker box but he said that the park service doesn't like to see them because there are restaurants and shops all over the park. He went to another room and came back with two ice creams and a pack of chips :) Trail magic at its best!! Outside of the store we set up our cooking stove and started preparing Knorr Pasta Cheddar Cheese for dinner just as a man came by and offered us a 3/4 part of a pizza. We ate and drank everything, I think our hiker hunger really starts to kick in.
Afterwards the man who gave us the pizza sat next to us. His name is Nope and he's also hiking the AT together with his granddaughter. He talked a bit about himself, a really interesting man. Vietnam veteran who was for years in Colombia to fight there against human trafficking. They will also be going to Washington DC for the 4th of July so we exchanged numbers.
Finally we went out for the night hike that should get us to Byrds Visitor Center with WiFi where we arrived three hours later. Then we spent two hours there enjoying to be connected and finishing some open tasks. Then we set up our tent across the street to the Visitor Center
Whoever said that Virginia - or the AT there - is flat, is lying!! It's not, BUT it is flatter than most of the parts that we already hiked. The uphills aren't as steep as elsewhere (especially the Smokies) and you usually stay on the ridge for some time. So today we had the usual game: uphill, ridge, downhill, gap... Repeat... Sometimes garnished with a nice view. Not the extraordinary views that you get when you're on the Skyline Drive Outlooks with clearings, just a rock :D At one of those outlooks we saw this stunning sunset where you could actually see the blue ridges of the mountains.Read more