Today Nokey and I needed to make big miles if we were going to catch up to the rest of our crew! We planned to wake up at 6 and get moving to catch them all at Thomas Knob. We did get up early and saw a gorgeous sunrise in the meadow, but motivation escaped us for sure! We didn’t roll out of camp until 8:45 and had to get moving. The scenery today was gorgeous, but the terrain proved to be rough, rocky, and the trails were poorly maintained to say the least. We made it to Grayson Highlands and got to see tons of wild ponies and pretty views. The sun got hot again today, but we were thankful for an afternoon with lots of level walking and cloud cover after lunch! We reached mile 500 around 1 pm and celebrated with a can of Heinekin we packed in for the occasion. We pushed on to Old Orchard where we caught Flash to find out we only had five more miles to go. Thunder started rumbling and we got down to VA 603 to find SOS’s wife with trail magic! We got a Snickers and a bottle of water before our last big climb. We made it the last 3.5 miles in exactly one hour to get to camp just in time to set up our tents before the rain started! Thankfully, none of my gear got wet and we had just enough time to get ready for round 2, HAIL! The storm blew through quickly and we were then able to go up to the shelter and see our friends again! A great end to a 21-mile day. Tomorrow we set out for Partnership Shelyer, where they have showers and pizza delivery! The photo is a wild pony licking the salty sweat off Nokey’s leg. They like hikers for sure.