I ended up taking a zero in Daleville. I really needed a day off, but I was also avoiding the RAIN! I made good use of the day, though. I soaked my backpack in vinegar, and then washed it in the bathtub at the motel. The vinegar helps kill the B.O. bacteria and the moldy smell! It has been so humid for so long, and things don’t dry out, leaving it vulnerable to mold growth. I can’t do this sort of thing at a hostel. There is too much demand for the bathroom at a hostel. We got a special rate at Super 8 for booking 2 or more nights in a row online. I also had time to mend some things. The bag for my cook pot was coming undone at the seams. My tent pole bag was also coming undone on the hem of the drawstring. My tent poles would get tangled in the drawstring every time I pulled them out. It was good to get that done!
There were a lot of hikers at the Super 8. PapaJ, Tumble and Wills in Motion were sharing a room there, too. They had a slackpack planned and asked me if I wanted to go and split the cost. The shuttles usually charge per car, so the more you can divide the cost, the cheaper the slackpack. It was only $6 per trip, so a total of $12 for the slackpack.
The beauty of slackpacking is that it is less weight (and wear and tear) on your body. It’s easier to go faster with less weight, so you can cover more miles. Another advantage is that it is one less day of food you have to carry. Carrying 5-6 days worth of food is very tough! The other advantage is that you get to take a shower and sleep in a bed for an extra night after gaining those miles. We were still expecting more rain, but at least I could take a shower, get dry and sleep dry!
We did 21.6 miles that day. It was very humid and the mosquitoes were terrible! We didn’t hike together. The boys like to take a break every hour. I like to hike on and break when I need to (*cough*cough* …and poop whenever Or however frequently I need to!) As it turned out, I got back right before the heavens let loose and it absolutely poured!
I do so love my motel stays! This was a nice one! Not even a hint of cigarette smoke! I’ve discovered that most of the ‘hiker rates’ are less expensive because they all smell like a smoker’s house, even if you ask for a non-smoking room! This room smelled fresh and clean. It also had a mini fridge and a microwave. One night I bought a rotisserie chicken and a salad and had that for supper. Then I bought some hamburger buns and BBQ sauce and made sandwiches which I took with me on my slackpack and the following day for lunch.
I also watched The Weather Channel and The News to catch up on world events. It’s tough for me not to know what is going on in the world. I also cranked the AC down and slept with my down quilt. I filled my ice bucket often and had Coke on the rocks in one of those little plastic cups. I also took at least two hot showers a day. ALSO…I had a king sized bed, which meant I could sleep ‘spread eagle’ or make snow angels in the bed. What luxury after sleeping on a mummy shaped sleeping pad in my tent! Can you tell I really enjoyed that motel stay?
Ahhhhhh….it was very difficult to leave the Super 8. I rest in a room alone so much better than in most hostels. It seems like I have had more than my fair share of upper bunks in hostels this time around. I’m way too old to be climbing up and down a bunk bed. There is no place to put your stuff up there so it necessitates many climbs up and down. Don’t get me wrong–all hostels are different. I have been to some that were very peaceful. So also have to say that by the same token, I do really enjoy some stays at hostels. It was just time for that motel stay, I think.
The next day, I sadly left the Super 8 and we were driven back to where we were dropped off the day before to continue North. The boys went further North and were going to hike South to make it easier for PapaJ’s wife to pick them up and take them back to Middle Creek Campground where he was having his Birthday celebration. I would need to find a shuttle back there on my own if I wanted to attend.