Well there has been a change of plans. We went to the ATC this morning to get a picture of all three of us, and we’re told immediately by the ATC employees that we were not permitted to hike south of their office. We were under the impression that the 50 miles from there to the beginning of the Shenandoah were privately owned, and free to be hiked. Unfortunately, we were wrong. The man working there told us that he insisted on us not hiking it and informed us that should we choose not to listen and have an emergency that rescue could possibly not come because we were warned not to go in.
Well, this news really threw us. We woke up this morning expecting to take a picture, hike 12 mikes and crash at a free hostel. Now, we were being told we needed to skip a little less than 175 miles and come back to it once it’s open again. So, for the first time in our lives, we are choosing to listen. It is the responsible thing to do, even though we want to be rebellious and say, “Damn the man!” And head through, we are not willing to fish Buddy’s safety. So, we took that 3 hour drive down to Waynesboro VA.
We resupplied, filled up on $3.05 per gallon gas and are hitting up the library. We are going to shower and camp at the YMCA in town and hit the trail extra early tomorrow. We are disappointed that the government issues affect the trail, but know this is happening for a reason. We have learned to accept the trials of the trail as lessons that lead to something fantastic every time.