08 Apr Camping in town
We wake up to “Jack-rabbit” packing up his camp, followed by a lot of loud geese gaggle next to our tent. We wish Jack rabbit farewell on his journey along the AT and pack up camp. Our ride today is pretty uneventful, there are the minor Virginia rollers, but overall the road was quiet enough to listen to some music and wide enough to have a relaxing ride. Also, the weather has turned from unusually cold to unusually warm for the time of year within the last two days.
As we stop to get fresh fruit and something cold to drink we meet Will, who had left his corporate job in 2012 to hike the AT for several months. We chat for a while about our experiences and adventures. He tips us off to an outfitter shop in Luray, which could give us a lead on where to camp near by.
On our way there, we call the shop and to our surprise the owner – Howard – offers a patch of grass behind the shop for us to camp. He even tries to find an opportunity for us to stay with a friend of his. Since we do not want to impose, we decide to take up the offer of camping behind the shop. He lets us refill all of our water reservoirs at the shop and gives us valuable info on where stores or shower opportunities in town are. We set up our tent and prop up the tarp for a little more privacy from passing cars and pedestrians. This little patch of green is an unusual camp-spot: hiding in the middle of town, squeezed into a corner between the art center and the train tracks, which are running high up just 20 feet behind it. Oddly enough, nobody even seems to notice us in our little corner. This spot has been utilized previously by through-hikers, so we believe to be safe at this odd place.
The train runs by a few times during the night; it is so close we can feel the ground shake. After a few hours of quiet, we get an early wake up call by the train tooting its horn and shaking up the tent again.