All In was up early and walked to the diner for some coffee. A few other hikers were up and about, but most in the hostel and out were still sleeping. As the area started to come alive with hikers we discovered that more hiking friends had rolled into town. Big hugs were exchanged when the kids saw Princess North Star, who they hadn’t seen in a few hundred miles (they were responsible for adding the title of Princess to his moniker, and were thrilled to see in Harpers Ferry that he had logged that portion of his name into the record books, alongside a picture of him doing a flying kick in front of the AT HQ sign).
We enjoyed a large breakfast at the diner where the kids took turns taking pictures of the table reflected in the mirrored ceiling. On the way out, All In caught a ride to the vet with a departing patron. The diagnosis: most likely a sprained toe. Unlike the time he went lame two years ago, this time was not accompanied by a fever or loss of appetite, making a recurrence of Lyme less likely but still a possibility. He was prescribed some painkillers as well as Doxycycline just to be safe. He got a full exam and was otherwise healthy, with good weight and good spirits despite his twisted toe.
The rest of the day was a flurry of town-chore activity. The kids played Monopoly with the other hikers at the church hostel while the parents rushed around doing laundry, resupplying groceries, picking up mailed gear, mailing back other gear. The kids were excited that the tarp for their hammocks arrived. All In was excited that his repaired camera arrived. Everyone was excited to scarf down multiple meals: fresh fruit, fresh veggies, lots of pie and ice cream.
More hiking friends cruised in, some staying the night, others (like Iron Chef) popping in to say hi on big mile pushes to meet friends in the NYC area. It was a hard place to leave, but after dinner we headed back out on the trail for a few miles to a campsite. Orion was no longer favoring his foot, which was a relief. Although, after chasing a few rabbits, some deer and even a New Jersey bear, he was back to three legs. Thankfully, we were in camp shortly, so he got some more rest.
The kids set up their hammocks and their new tarp. We enjoyed the remnants of a beautiful sunset, and the kids recognized Spider Man’s tent and headed over to say goodnight. Then we all tucked into bed.