0 miles, 722.5 overall (Daleville HoJo’s)
I wake around 8 and, because I can, I take another shower. Then I head to the breakfast buffet. It isn’t anything amazing, but it has waffles. I make 2 and douse them with syrup. I also have a donut, a muffin, raisin bran cereal, some OJ and coffee. The plan today is to take my time, get my resupply done and get out of town. I don’t need to hurry through the next section. I have a specific road crossing to be at a week from today and being there only requires around 13 miles per day. I figure I can do either 5 miles out to the first shelter or 12 miles out to the second. I spend every minute I can in my room until it is time for checkout and then I take my pack to the lobby and ask the front desk to keep it in the office for me while I lunch and resupply.
I go get lunch at a coffee shop nearby. They have a BLT avocado sandwich that I have them add cheese to and I wash it down with some chamomile tea. While there I catch up on writing, news, etc. I also check the weather. I know it is supposed to start raining this afternoon and continue for a couple days. I take a look at the radar and see a huge system moving in from the southwest. No wonder it is supposed to last for a few days, the entire southeast is covered in greens, yellows and reds on the radar. Now I feel even less motivated to get going. Even if I get out ahead of the rain I still have several days of hiking in it to look forward to. I think about zeroing but don’t want to pay for another night in the hotel.
Eventually I drag myself out and over to Kroger for my resupply. I’m able to find most of what I need: tortillas, bagels, peanut butter, some batteries, and even thread to patch a hole in my pants. What I am not able to find is a travel size toothpaste. While I’m there I run into Connect 4, Teflon, and Tickle Monster. They arrived in town this morning and are staying at the HoJo’s. When I check out Tickle Monster is right behind me. We walk back to the hotel together and I tell him how unexcited I am about the impending weather and my plans to hike out in it. He mentions that Jersey is also staying at the hotel and has a room to himself. Now I am wondering if I can split a room with Jersey to take a zero. I haven’t had a zero day since Damascus over 250 miles ago, so I’m just about due for one. Tickle Monster gives Jersey a call and a few minutes later I am settling into his room, taking the other double bed. We’re both excited about the arrangement since neither of us are the stay-up-late-and-party types and this way we pay half as much for the room. I hang around for a while, enjoying the dryness of the room as it begins to rain outside.
After a while I get restless and head over to the room Tickle Monster, Connect 4, and Teflon are in. It is almost dinner time and I want to get them moving because I am already hungry. When I find them they are watching Office Space on tv. They have a room that adjoins to one Fatherman, DK, and Big Easy are staying in. We decide to order pizza. This requires some coordination on our part to pool each person’s monetary contribution. While we wait we head to the gas station to get some beers and snacks. At the gas station I’m also able to find a travel size toothbrush and toothpaste – score! The pizza arrives and we gorge on it. Office Space has ended and now we are watching The 40 Year Old Virgin. It is a mellow night, just the perfect kind for a zero day, and I get to bed at a reasonable hour. While I somewhat regret watching tv instead of having some more quality hiker interaction, I can’t complain too much. There will be plenty of time for that once we return to the Appalachian Trail.