May 3, 2017
Today was a nice 19 miles into the city of Marion. It was mostly flat with some downhill and just FLEW by! There wasn’t too much of note on the trail. I did pass a group of younger guys who had just finished taking a dip in a very cold river but I mostly just hiked today in general discomfort. My hamstrings were cramping up a bit and DustBuster had to help loosen them up at one point. Then my feet started getting pretty sore after about 15 miles.
We passed by a lot of hikers at the Partnership Shelter just outside of the Mt. Rogers Visitor Center. They have a free shuttle that runs to Marion (which we missed by about 15-30 minutes) and there’s a Pizza place that will deliver to the shelter. We hitched into town (DustBuster, AT-AT Walker, and I) and split a room at the Econo Lodge. DustBuster and I took a cab to the laundromat after failing to sneakily use the Travel Inn’s laundry room. Here she is in all her hiker-trash glory, hiding in a corner wearing her only cleanish clothes charging her phone while talking. Shame weighs too much to carry out here.
Afterwards, we hitched to Walmart to resupply and saw a ton of people that are hiking at about our pace but taking more zero-days. There were about 7 of them all trying to hitch a ride back to the Visitors Center. We walked half a mile back to the motel and then Walker and I went to a little Mexican restaurant called La Puerta. The waitress had quite the look on her face when we both ordered a dinner-for-two (plus mozzarella sticks which had a delicious corn batter).
We ate all of it… There’s nothing like a hiker-hunger and I wish I could always eat like this but I’m pretty sure it would kill me in 5 years if I wasn’t constantly walking.
I hope the train track right next door doesn’t get active too early. Guess I’ll listen to some Pandora Radio tonight, just in case.