I first met Pancho on Trail about six weeks ago. He was hiking with Oso and helping out a little with resupply for a few hikers. As the virus made things more complicated, he made the gracious choice to devote the rest of the year to helping the few hikers that stayed on Trail. Pancho is from West Virginia and just graduated from high school. He got his Trail name because he did a YouTube review of a $.99 rain pancho from Wal-Mart. He wants to do a thru hike soon but has been helping us out in the meantime and we can’t be more thankful.
He has been a lifesaver in so many ways. He is running food supply errands, picking up packages from the post office and making us laugh so hard in between. We pay him well for these errands but I honestly think that he is really in it for the fun and friendship. It also doesn’t hurt that we are hiking with two cute girls that he treats extra nice. He always meets us with a smile and lots of juicy gossip about what is happening on Trail.
He almost broke my heart today. He told me he was considering staying down in Virginia as we head north because there are more hikers getting on Trail down here. We begged him to stay with us and I think we have him convinced. I hope so because he is so great to have around and a true Trail friend.
We are in Front Royal and frankly pretty wiped out. We did four 28+ mile days in a row to get through the last section as quickly as possible. It all worked out in the end but there was some silent suffering out there for sure. We are looking forward to a nice rest in a bed and clean clothes. It truly is the little things that help us reset for the next push. I’m starting to think that maybe I shouldn’t be hiking with these kids that were born after I graduated from law school. They are sweet as can be but killing this old man. 😬
I checked in with Mallwalker today and he is back home in Cincinnati for a few days. The hike with his brother and cousin didn’t go so great. They made it through the first day but then bailed the next morning. I never thought it was a good idea for them to jump into to hike after Mallwalker had nearly 1,000 miles under his belt but I think they had some laughs anyway. I hope he can get back to the Trail soon and catch up with us.
We are headed back out in the morning and will be crushing a few state lines over the next couple of days. It feels so so good to be almost through Virginia and making quick progress towards Maryland and Pennsylvania. I saw a road sign for Washington DC today and that freaked me out. I usually fly to DC but I can just as easily walk there. Now that is an awesome carbon footprint!