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[at-l] Ready June 12

Today started with rousting ourselves from a clean, comfy bed. Such agony! 
We had to make it all the way up a steep hill to get to the dining room 
where a gourmet meal awaited us. Such hardship. ;-)
In the dining room, we joined up with Sticks & Patches, Homeless & 
Unemployed, and Chops. The meal was great, and they even packed us a 
sandwich to eat later on the Trail.
Today was mostly downhiil, although it was still on very rocky terrain - 
good practice for Pennsylvania.
Wildlife spottings today: We met two groups of 5th graders accompanied by 
their school teachers and rangers. It was fun telling them about our hike, 
and our gear and answering their questions.
I haven't written much about all the flora we've seen, so I will now. 
Columbine is very plentiful right now, and early in the hike we saw lots of 
Virginia Spiderwort - so delicate and colorful! Ferns abound and are hands 
down Spur's and my favorite plant. Today we saw one of the best looking 
Lady's Slippers I've ever seen.
There's a beautiful white flower that grows on a shrub; it has the most 
succulant fragrance! I think it may be mountain laurel but I'm not sure. 
It's everywhere on the trail and the air is redolent with its sweetness.
Unfortunately for me there's been a good deal of side brushing that's been 
done on the Trail sections we've walked these past few days. Clippings of 
plants, especially when there's grass involved, sets my allergies off 
bigtime. Watery, itchy eyes, etc.
We saw a turtle burying eggs in the mud, but that was in town, so perhpas 
that doesn't count as true AT wildlife?
We made a goal to eat lunch on "Mary's Rocks" and also make it into Luray 
for our maildrop before th post office closd at 5:00. I set a secret goal 
to make it to the lunchspot by 3:00 pm.
We forged ahead and I relentlessly pursued that goal. We got there at 2:50. 
I really enjoyed the challenge of setting this intermediate goal, and 
achieving it. It fortifies my confidence that I can do this hike.
We got into Luray thanks to a man named Farrell, who was kind enough to 
offer us a lift from the trailhead. He dropped us off right at the post 
office in town.
Before entering the building, Spur and I met the sweetest woman. Her eyes 
grew wide as she noticed our packs and she engaged us in a 
question-and-answer session. Her eyes grew wider and wider as we told her 
"our story" (starting in March for Spur, moving my stuff to Atlanta, our 
wedding, our hike, etc). She wished us well and she went on her way. I 
really was impressed with her - she had great energy and a seemingly great 
love of life. It would have been nice getting to spend more time with her. 
But, we had things to do, starting with picking up our maildrop.
Alas, our package had not yet arrived. We would have to spend a second 
night in a soft clean-sheeted hotel bed. How very terribly awful.
We'd also get to see the Luray Caverns. We took a 1-hour tour of this 
magnificent cave. What a very special treat it was!
Our "gourmet" supper tonight was courtesy of that fine nationally reknowned 
establishment, "Subway's."
Then it was showertime (yeegads, we must be the cleanest thruhikers that 
ever walked the Trail!) followed by journalling. A good night's sleep will 
do my feet some good. The rock's have really been giving them a run for 
their money. Tomorrow, we hike again.