Random Musings Of A Zero Day

4/22/15 to 4/23/15 – Woodchuck Hiker Hostel – Damascus, Virginia

We did a nero into Damascus Wednesday and I can’t believe we are here! We walked under the arch, as have so many other hikers I have read about. I got here with my own two feet, me!

We had made prior arrangements to stay at Woodchuck’s thanks to Roub’s government phone. When we arrived, Darwin and I were rewarded with a huge mail drop from mom and sister along with new boots from Merrell. We showered and did our usual chores of laundry and resupply.

We lounged around the hostel Thursday deciding to take a full zero. Momma Roub was able to meet us in town although only for a few hours. After getting my mail drop from home, I felt the ache for family and visiting with her helped soothe me and filled the “mom void”.

Darwin and Supermoon being the cooks of the tramily, cooked up a big spaghetti dinner having free rein of the hostel kitchen. We shared our dinner with a few others and enjoyed great conversation with Woodchuck, Superwolf, Luna, One-Step and Prospector. While in town we ran into some old friends Hot Sauce, Cray-Nip and Lucky Strike. Lucky Strike informed us he would be getting off trail in a week. This made me realize how even the strongest hikers can be effected by the mental game of the trail.

Living such a communal life style such as ours is a quick way to spread sickness. Two female hikers have been laid up at the hostel for a few days. I know they are not dead but I have not seen either one out of bed. So far our tramily has stayed healthy. This also puts into prospective how easily a hike can end with illness. I am super thankful for my health.

The last hand of winter is not letting us go with the temperature dipping down into the 30’s again. When leaving Damascus we will have Mount Rogers to look forward to which is known for it’s low temps. I am ready for warmer weather and to retire my down jacket to full time pillow status.

While riding the high of clean clothes and full bellies Supermoon, Cider and I came to the agreement that once we reach Harper’s Ferry we shall buy AT Necklaces. Then like Captain Planet characters, when our necklace powers combine we shall create a super female hiker! Supermoon provides the power of dinosaur burps. Cider gives the power of the “I don’t give a fuck” attitude and I will bestow the power of pads and tampons!

It has been nice just hanging around pretending to be on a weekend away from work. I am however ready to hit the trail tomorrow. The towns can really suck you in after awhile and Damascus totally has a pull. We have all made plans to stay here again at Trail Days. I wonder what type of hikers we will be when we stay here again?



Kevin Bacon & The River

4/17/15  – Random Awesome Campsite by Laurel Falls – 17 miles

We had a beautiful day of hiking! The trail was smooth and allowed good conversation with Supermoon, Roub, Cider, and Darwin. We passed a cool old barn and stopped to inspect it then Supermoon and I took turns peeing beside it. We then stopped off at a hostel a bit off trail for a little self-made trail magic. We sat out on the porch and devoured ice cream, microwavable sandwiches, and a few adult beverages. We discussed the history of the hostel with a few other hikers staying there finding out that the hostel used to be a Boy Scout camp. It reminded me of a filming location for the movie “Friday the 13th”. Poor Kevin Bacon! We finally pulled ourselves away from the hostel and junk food to hike our last few miles.

I felt really good having knocked out ten miles before ten o’clock this morning. Now after leaving the hostel, I felt giddy with ice cream and alcohol (only one Mike’s Hard Lemonade mind you) and ready to almost run the last few miles. I felt the trail gods were really smiling upon me. I felt like a real thru-hiker.

We entered a section of trail that seemed to remind us all of places from our hometowns. The trail was rocky but easy hiking for weekenders whom were out and about. It was nice to see and smell non thru-hikers leaving me with a twinge of homesickness.

We passed Laurel Falls, which was beautiful, but Darwin and I kept moving as the others lingered a bit. The trail literally followed right along side the river leaving us clinging to a rock face for balance. One wrong step and you could fall right in the river. I pretended to be a badass at this point and kept up with Darwin my thoughts wondering off to Kevin Bacon again this time in “The River Wild”.

We set up camp at a random spot along the river. Cruise Control found our camp a little later and joined us for the evening. It was good to see her and she only added more enjoyment to our evening. We all talked around the fire several hours and enjoyed being warm and dry. There seemed to be a buzz in the air as we reviewed our day, proud of our seventeen miles. We caught some well deserved Z’s as we fell asleep to the sounds of the river less than 200 ft. away.