Dunn Loring, VA
After struggling to make a decision on taking a zero day or pressing on, I finally decided to double zero. It was always my plan to hike to Harpers Ferry, WV and then take the train to my brothers house in Northern Virginia and double zero there. Plans are made to be broken though, right? My brother is going to be out of town when I get to Harpers Ferry in a few weeks. I didn't want to miss seeing him. Plus, my parents were already heading to his house after they stopped to see me, for my nieces birthday party. It seems like the universe conspired to make sure I was there this weekend.
My poor feet and body definitely needed the rest though. I woke up this morning with a sore back and very swollen feet and ankles. My heels have some nasty open wounds on them that I need to get taken care of before I start hiking again.
I was awake at my normal time of 6:00. Since there was no rush to get to my brothers house, we had a nice leisurely morning at the hotel. I soaked my feet in Epsom salt for a little while and then headed down to the lobby for breakfast. I dazzled, or perhaps embarrassed, my mom and dad with my hiking hunger.
After breakfast I headed back to the room to begin repacking my stuff. Everything I own has a stink of its own now. My pack is particularly pungent, which made it difficult to repack. Once we cleared out the hotel room, we headed north to my brothers house. It was only a two hour drive to get there. After only two months of living in the woods, I'm amazed that it's an adjustment to be back in the "real world". It took us two hours to drive 110 miles, that takes me a week to cover the same distance. We stopped at Super Target to pick up a few things for my nieces birthday party and I was a little overwhelmed by the huge shopping center and the amount of people around. I'm in town at least once a week to resupply, but they are small towns with a much different vibe than the suburbs of Washington DC. We stopped for lunch at a high-end pizza restaurant, where I ate a normal sized lunch.
Then it was a short drive to my brothers house. We unloaded the car and I tried to limit the damage of my hiker stink on his house. I left my empty pack in his garage and left my shoes outside by the trash cans. I spent most of the afternoon backing up my camera and cell phone on my laptop. I had asked my parents to bring my laptop and a bunch of other stuff with them. I hope to have time to make some changes to my blog and to sort through all of my pictures. I soaked my feet in Epsom salt again and had a few beers while I chatted with my brother. It was nice to have the comforts of home again, but I find that I'm restless when I'm not on the trail. I find it hard to just sit and relax.
The rest of the evening was spent hanging out with my family. Anthony, Lauren, and Parker had recently taken a family vacation to Disney World. My niece, Parker, narrated the trip for us while we looked at a photo book of the trip. She is a very animated little girl and it was really funny to see her get so excited telling us about the trip.
I ended my zero day with a delicious and healthy dinner that my brother and sister-in-law cooked, salmon with a fresh salad.
I'm looking forward to another relaxing day tomorrow.
"Rest and repose are as much a part of life's journeys as seeing all we came to see." -Gina Greenlee