(Before anything else, I’ll let you know that my “Wildflowers” gallery has been updated with 20 additional shots – computer time and town time are so valuable, I can’t look any of them up right now. I’d rather spend the time posting more, so if any of you can identify some of them, let me know!)
It’s Thursday, May 19th and the sun is finally shining. At least off and on. Today is our tenth day in a row with at least some rain. Today, we hiked only 1.8 miles to a road that led us into Buena Vista, VA, and sure enough, it sprinkled on us for a couple of minutes. The Roanoke Times published an article on their front page this AM about how soggy the trail is, and about how wet and smelly the hikers are. It’s really bad when things don’t have a good chance to dry out.
But today (at long last) we got into a town early, checked into the Budget Inn and while waiting for a room we started our laundry. In our rainsuits, we popped next door to a Subway and had foot-long breakfast sandwiches while our laundry was finishing. We then showered and we hand washed every stuff bag from our packs (why put clean stuff into a smelly bag?). We strung up a clothesline in the room, and hung the bags to dry. My sleeping bag is now carabinered to the top of the curtain rod, unzipped, with the air conditioner blowing right into it. The bag will get completely dry, I’m sure, and maybe some Febreeze is in its future.
This time, we’re doing the town experience right; get into town in the early AM, get the laundry and showers out of the way first, enjoy whatever the town has to offer (like a library with fast computers!), do the resupply shopping, and leave the town the next morning (instead of in the evening). Leaving in the evening has been a psychological drag. The way we’re doing it this time (and henceforth, whenever we can work it out), there will be a clean break between town duties and hitting the trail. We’ve already arranged for a shuttle at 8 AM tomorrow to bring us the 9.3 miles up the road to where we left the trail, so that we’ll just get up, pack up, eat, and go! No dreary “I forgot to do this,” or “I need more computer time,” or “I don’t really want to go yet!” and so on. Let the night-time be the line that cleanly separates our two realities.
Despite the rain, fog and general grayness and dampness, we’re in high spirits. The folks on the trail and off have been tremendous, and someone always has a funny story in the evening about something that’s happened along the way.
We’re finding that simple commonalities that go unnoticed in everyday off-trail life can be real gems of pleasure. It might be tough for a non-hiker to imagine what delight a simple thing like a pair of dry socks can bring!