It is amazing what a bath, delicious non-hiker food, and sleeping on a mattress with extra pillows does to restore a bit of sanity. Combine that with not having to worry about running out of water, or food, or storms, or bugs, and this zero is pretty much a slice of heaven.
Woke up at 5:30am (to get an early start on our 20 mile slackpack) and it was pouring down rain. OWL snuck downstairs to look at the weather radar and it looked awful. So we decided to stay an extra day in lieu of being cold and miserable today. Spent the day drinking tea and reading and laying in bed. It was glorious.
Shutterbug is here, and M80/Trooper/Willow showed up today, too!
My toe did not want me to walk on it today, so we talked about taking another zero. Owl said she had heard a couple people we had been hiking with talk about hiking the Virginia creeper trail (a rails to trails conversion) up to where it intersects with the AT, because it is really pretty. After we both agreed that sounded like a pretty good idea, it was a very small leap to make the decision to rent bikes and bike down the trail into Damascus. Then tomorrow we will get a shuttle to where it intersects the AT, and hike on from there.
I had a fantastic time biking down the mountain. The trail goes downhill almost the entire way, so it was a very easy ride. The weather was perfect (low 60s and sunny), and we laughed and played like kids all the way down.
Once we got back into town, we rode out to the “welcome to Damascus” sign, where Hammer, Mallet, and friends were hanging out. Mallet threw a frisbee to Owl on her bike, and she *almost* caught it!
I had the most awesome helmet hair ever.
We ate lunch at the blue blaze cafe (gain!), then went back to the room to get the bounce box and box o stuff for home ready, then to the post office. Stopped at the outfitter so Owl could check for more mail – she had 5 more cards yesterday and one more today – then back to blue blaze for happy hour.
Saw m80 and trooper at the outfitter; m80 had the hiker virus so they are taking an extra zero tomorrow. Poor guy!
My toe still hurts but I am hoping by tomorrow the swelling will go down and it won’t hurt to walk. Aw yeah, I’m a dreamer!