Day 71 -May 17 2017 – 0 Miles – Daleville VA
We woke up early like we were going to get back on the trail at some point during the day. After only a few minutes of consciousness it became clear that we would be taking a zero day. Zeus had an eye infection that he wanted to get looked at, Stoats leg wasn’t one hundred percent, we still had to go to the store to resupply, and it was going to be over 90 degrees out. Yup, zero day.
We went to the all you can eat breakfast at the hotel and talked to several other hikers. One of the hikers we saw there was Candles. Twelve days earlier Candles had come up to me to ask me some questions about hammock camping. He had recently switched from a tent to a hammock and was looking for a few tips. I gave him a few tips and wished him luck.
Over breakfast he told us what happened after I had talked to him that night. Candles had a pee bottle. He would use the bottle in his tent so he wouldn’t have to get out to use the bathroom. When he switched over to using a hammock he thought he could use the same technique. At some point during the night he answered natures call in his usual fashion. It wasn’t until after he was done that he realized he had been missing the bottle completely. His, clothes, hammock, and sleeping bag were completely soaked in his own urine. It would be another three days until he could properly clean all his stuff. Candles, quite literally, was not a happy camper.
Wolfie had gotten back on the trail in the morning. He had to be in Maine by a certain date and wanted to do larger miles for a little while to ensure he got there in time. So, we said, “See you down the trail” and wished him luck.
Zeus went to the doctor to get his eye checked out and that left Flashfire, Stoat, and I to go to the store to resupply. Flashfire wanted to buy something for Zeus to cheer him up. She decided to get him a pinwheel. She also bought a pair of small water guns.
Flashfire had told us a story about when she told her family that she was going to hike the AT. She told her family she was going to the US and hike the AT and there was a long pause. Suddenly her father said,” NO! Americans have lots of guns and like to use them!”
She got a kick out of telling everyone that she had bought her first gun in USA.
On the way back from the store we stopped in a small diner to get some lunch. It was a modern american diner with chrome accents and a counter people could sit at. While we were waiting for our food Flashfire said, “Wow, a real American Diner. I almost can’t believe this is happening.” Her English was getting better and we had grown accustomed to her accent. I had forgotten that this was her first trip to the US. That there would be things that I saw as commonplace that someone from Europe might find interesting.
When we got back Flashfire went into the bathroom. When she got out she started shooting everyone with one of her water guns. Of course, that meant war! I grabbed the other gun, filled it up, and went after her. She ran out the door to avoid incoming fire.
No one was safe. Flashfire shot me, Stoat, and Zeus. Even Scarecrow couldn’t avoid Flashfires crosshairs.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. Zeus got back from the doctor with a cream that he would have to out in his eye. We went out to dinner to the Pizza Hut across the street. (Against my better “Pizza Belt” judgement) And we hung out with Scarecrow and Hobo Joe at the picnic table that was right outside our room. We watched the sun set and enjoyed the coolness that the night breeze brought with it.