Thursday, May 07, 2009

Yet Another Zero

Thursday, 5/7

AT Miles = 0 / 625.9
Other Miles = 1.7 / 27.2
Total Miles = 1.7 / 653.1

A double zero. If I was going to do this I should have done it in a
nice little town like Damascus. But my feet chose this place to go on
strike, so it's here that I am staying for yet another night.

I spent two nights at the Holiday Motor Lodge. It was a much nicer
place than the $35 per night price might suggest. Sure, it hasn't been
redecorated since about 1975, but it was very clean, the shower was
hot, and the heat and AC worked. What else really matters? Just the
same, after two nights there I just couldn't justify paying the money
for a third night, so I packed up my stuff this morning and moved over
here to the Hiker Hostel at Holy Family Church.

Before doing that, I packed up some stuff to be sent home; my 20
degree sleeping bag, my mid-weight long underwear, and balaclava and
gloves, and my fleece shirt. Then I took the box over to the post
office and sent it on its way. I went through all the food Jodi sent
me for the next leg of my hike, along with whatever I had left in my
food bag and some stuff from my bounce box, and figured out what few
items I still needed to buy. My original plan had me doing a 5 day leg
from here to Catawba, then resupplying there for 2 more days to
Daleville. Instead, I've decided to just pack food for 7 days and skip
the side-trip into Catawba. Because of that I did need to buy just a
few things, so I went to the Food Lion which is conveniently across
the street from the motel.

So, I have a food bag with seven days food in it. Seven days food
nowadays is WAY more than seven days food was back in Georgia. It is
almost scary how much food I need to eat nowadays, but after getting
all run down a couple weeks back, I realized I needed to do whatever
is necessary to eat better. I looked at myself in the mirror after my
shower the other night, and I haven't been this skinny since high
school! My ribs show like some of those ponies up in the Grayson
Highlands. My food bag must be at least 15 pounds, and when I stuff it
in my backpack it feels like I am hauling a barrel of bricks.

So anyway, I sorted out my food, packed my food bag, and as always I
had a bunch of stuff left over (oatmeal, instant breakfast, powdered
milk, granola bars, stuff like that that comes in boxes of multiples)
and now I actually have more stuff than will fit on my bounce box. I
also discovered that I forgot to include my down jacket in the box I
mailed home to Jodi, so I still need to do that. So I put on my
ridiculously heavy backpack, stuffed all the leftover food that won't
fit into my bounce box into one of the bags from the grocery store,
and picked up that, my hiking poles, and my bounce box, and started
walking. It is 1.7 miles from the motel to the hostel. You might think
that after hiking 15 - 20 miles up and down hills every day that a
mile and a half would be nothing, but there is something about
walking on the road that makes it feel like torture.

The hostel is a nice place as hostels go, but it is located way out at
the end of town, at the edge of a residential neighborhood. I walked
1.4 miles round trip to get to a Subway where I got two grinders, one
for a mid-afternoon snack and one for dinner tonight. In the morning I
will eat some of my extra oatmeal before I leave here, then I'll start
walking back through town. There is a breakfast place downtown where
I'll stop for another big breakfast, then it will be of to the post
office to mail my bounce box up to Daleville and to get a box to mail
my down jacket, a book I've finished with and want to keep, and a
couple of maps I no longer need, home. Finally unburdened off all my
extra possessions, I'll head back out onto the trail.

Today is the seventh straight day of rain. Not in the sense that it
has been raining non-stop for seven days, but it has rained sometime
during every day,and I think it has rained every single night. The
forecast calls for a 60% - 70% chance of rain every day until next
Tuesday, when it should simply be mostly cloudy, so I imagine by the
time I reach Daleville in a week I will be miserably wet again, but
right now I am looking forward to getting back on the trail.

The little group of people I was camping with most nights are all several days ahead of me now, so I will be socializing with a new group of hikers now. It's a bit sad to lose contact with people I've been hiking with for several weeks, but it's also good to be meeting other people. It's all part of the trail experience.

Allen F. Freeman

1 comment:

Phollower said...

I imagine the double zero was pretty rough. Especially since you got all the chores done the first day. Just sitting the second day and having your foot hurt too bad to hike must've sucked. Good luck and I hope the limbs cooperate better.