Virginia has been beautiful.. the open countryside
has been a welcomed change of scenery. I hiked down to Atkins on the 5th through waist high grass, on rolling hills. As I reached some train tracks and a river, I startled three deer drinking, and they hopped away quickly, over shrubs and through trees. One of the deer sprinted across the tracks and jumped over a farm's fence and hop/ran straight up the hill in front of me. What and amazingly graceful sight it was as he ran away. It was too cool and too quick of a moment to get my camera out in time. It reminded me of how Bella runs with her tall, lanky body bounding over open field. The deer stopped suddenly and looked back at me and then took off.
I got down to Atkins and stopped at the Barn Restaurant, where I downed a 16 oz. cheese burger dubbed the "Hiker Burger" with Pumpkin and Free. I sat around lazily for a couple hours, letting the calories digest and letting the bright sun in the cloudless blue sky warm it up to 60 degrees, from the freezing temperatures of a couple hours earlier. I set back out in the afternoon with a 24 oz beer and hiker Mexican food (steak fajita flavored rice side and fajita chicken tortilla stuffers) planning to do my own little Cinco de Mayo celebration. I met up to Toaster and Tramp, who had just downed some beers themselves, and started hiking with Toaster, as Tramp went back to Atkins for more beers. Toaster was obviously feeling good from the beers, and I was just feeling good in general, and we ended up rolling down a huge grass hill, racing like little kids. I kept hiking when Toaster stopped for the night and the day just kept getting better.
I hiked late and as the sun was setting I came to privately owned farmlands full of cows, pooping and mooing and staring at me right on the trail. It was such a great view up on an open hill, with cows walking around me and the sun setting, a perfect end to my best day hiking yet.