Tuesday, June 7, 2011

day off

With it looking like fairly easy terrain heading into Harper's Ferry, and not having had a break in the two weeks I've been back, I decided to take the day off today.  I stayed at the Grace Lutheran Church hostel last night and am back again for a second night tonight.  It really has felt like home, coming from a Lutheran family myself.  It's been nice to kick off my trail runners for a little and watch the NBA Finals and take multiple showers a day in what has been without a doubt the best shower on the trail so far.  A thru-hiker's main objective is to hike a whole bunch, so what does a hiker do on his day off?  Well for one, as little walking as possible.

Mtn Dew and I began our day off, walking the quarter-mile to the Laundrymat, which was about as far as I wanted to walk today.  I think thru-hikers are a pretty lazy bunch, I know I am at least, despite this whole walking to Maine thing.  Get me off the trail and I don't want to walk at all.  So, we finished with laundry and walked back to the Main Street with our thumbs out, looking for a hitch to the movie theater in town.  There's a 'Trail Angel Network', a list of numbers to call for rides to and from the trail in Waynesboro, but something told me a ride to the movies wasn't going to cut it.  So we spent a half hour trying to get a ride with no luck.  I had the brilliant idea to ask people coming out of Kroger how far it was to the theater, knowing it was further than I wanted to walk, but hoping someone would give us a ride.  I guess my chi was off because we helped a couple old ladies with their groceries and chatted with another couple of people, and no one offered a ride.  We walked back up to the Main St. for a last effort and sure enough, an incredibly generous elementary school art teacher stopped to pick us up.  We went to see Hangover 2, which was OK, and got a hitch almost immediately after the movie.  We had hitched in the middle of town to the movies and back - I now consider myself a hitching professional, a conqueror of any hitching situation, a real lazy, appreciative hiker on his day off.

After the movie, I sat in more air conditioning at the library again, and then went to eat at Ming Garden Chinese Buffet for a second time.  It was better than the first because my stomach was more experienced, and I knew to take my time.  Plus, the "hiker hunger" wasn't quite as strong as yesterday, so I didn't gorge myself with as many different types of chicken on a plate in 5 minutes within sitting down.  I stuck to one chicken this time - General Tso's, and I bypassed the iffy dumplings, the Hunan chicken, the Hunan beef (not very good Hunan, or maybe I was just disgusted because I misread it at first) and the pizza slices (yes the Chinese Buffet had pizza, too).  So the meal all went down a lot better and it didn't take hours and several bathroom visits to digest this time.

Since dinner, I've done nothing but lounge on a couch watching television and surfing the internet.  Tomorrow I'm back to hiking 20 miles in a day, over mountains, in supposed highs of 98 degrees, but for now doing nothing feels great.


  1. Hmmm, "doing nothing feels great"...I'll give a hearty "amen" to that as well as thanks for occasionally being in this space and having sense enough to appreciate it.

  2. Check out the new Xmen if you get another movie chance! Great film, best superhero movie.

  3. Thought you might like to see this:


  4. So glad you're feeling better! No fun at all to be sick on the trail. I'm thinking the kindness of those Lutheran church ladies was maybe a bit overwhelming to your system!

    love you so much, mom

  5. Thank you Joy! That was so nice!