Today Nokey and I woke up sore and tired! We were unmotivated to hike, but needed to get moving. We watched the sunrise on the ridgeline and packed up to head to Matt’s Creek to have breakfast since we ran out of water. We got there and the Boy Scouts were everywhere still. We felt justified in our decision to stay on the ridge for sure. From here, we had downhill and level walking to the James River and the Foot Bridge (yes, the guy who the bridge was named after a guy named Foot, which is also the longest foot-only bridge on the AT). We got down to the road and now we had to start climbing. Nokey and I went in about half a mile and then decided we really, REALLY don’t want to hike. We actually turned around and decided to hitch to a town for food. We got back to the road and the Boy Scouts were there again. We told them we were looking for a ride hoping they’d take us, but they weren’t going to. Luckily, they said there was a younger guy looking for thru hikers if we hung out for a minute. The guy, Rain Gear, was a 2011 NOBO and asked us if we wanted to have lunch with him! He took us to H&H in Big Island and bought us hamburgers and fries! We stayed with him for nearly two hours before returning to the trail. When we got back to the trail, Xena, a 2004 thru hiker, was with her two young sons and have us homemade brownies! We decided since it was nearly 1:30. When we came to the next road crossing, a trail maintainer gave us ice water! What an awesome day! We ended up hiking about 10 more miles, nearly all uphill, to Punchbowl Mountain. The shelter was 0.2 miles off trail, but was so gorgeous with a pond when we got there! The shelter is supposedly haunted by a little boy, Ottie Cline Powell, who disappeared when looking for firewood in 1891. They found his body nearly 5 months later at the top of Bluff Mountain. They never looked for him up there because it was so high up. Anyway, we didn’t use any ghost sightings and had a great nights’ rest with Stingray, GQ, and Maxis.