I woke up and didn't want to get up just like every morning...last night my phone got down to 60% battery with no reserve left on the mophie case which worried me because somehow in the morning it was down to 40%. I knew I had to get into town to charge it. The road was right back a couple minutes, I decided I would eat breakfast by the parking pull off in hopes of someone passing by. I saw a white newer Jeep liberty (looks safe in my eyes) thumb is out, they wave. Is it morally ok to wave to someone hitch hiking to make yourself feel better? Because I would feel better if you ignores my-not wave and drive on. I finish my breakfast, this is not a busy road. Another car passes. I put on my knee braces, hey maybe they will feel worse seeing I'm falling apart! Another car passes. I decide to pump some water right next to the road in the stream since it looks like I will be hiking, with a later start, in the heat. Another car drives by and waves with his window down, not cool. I then see a car coming from the opposite direction- it's the same one that just waved. He pulls to the side. Where are you looking to go? Marion or Atkins I proposed. He said he was headed the opposite direction to Mount Rogers but could drop me 4 miles in the direction of Marion at a Baptist Hostel. Works for me, I could charge my phone and hopefully call a shuttle the rest of the way. Turns out Roger is from Ohio and he is here for a few days to hike and then he is going to North Carolina to see his daughter and then back home-seems like a nice little trip. Thank you so much Roger for helping me out this morning, all it takes is one person! As I opened the door to one of the hostel rooms it was empty, so was the one next to it. I plugged my phone in, but no service. Seems the place is run on donation so you just stay, shower, and donate what you can. I walked to a pavilion where a tent was set up and a radio on but no one answered from inside the tent when I called. Down at the church everything was locked up-no one in sight. I walked back up and got my phone and walked up the road the way we drove in, there was a little restaurant that had an open sign on it that maybe I could use their phone. Walking down the street a group of four small mixed dogs barked their heads off and chased me the whole way down the road. The restaurant despite its open sign, had been shut down and empty for awhile. Back up towards the barking, chasing dogs I passed the hostel church again and walked in the other direction. After a little ways I came across an older woman sitting on her porch, I asked if there was a general store nearby; she said about 4 miles. Damn. I asked if Marion was that way she said yeah about 15 miles. I asked if I could use her landline to call a shuttle-she seemed a little skeptical of me at first but once we got to talking she warmed up. She let me use her daughter's phone nextdoor since she had unlimited long distance. I called the shuttle number in the AWOL book and he said it would be about $60 for him to get me and about 45min...he gave me another number to call but it wouldn't go through-I didn't have an option, I had to pay this ridiculous price. After the woman invited me to sit on the porch with her and gave me a bottled water. I charged my phone a little inside her home and sat and talked with her about her family. She told me how her grandson is 21 today and his fiancée turned 21 today and they both live out back. She called him over and he asked if I needed a ride, I told him I was trying to get to Marion and after a lot of thinking he told me he could get me to Sugar Grove for $15 but didn't have time to go to Marion. He said I shouldn't have a problem finding a ride to Marion from there since most people are headed there anyways. I said my goodbyes and thank you to Marion such a sweet lady who is still doing yard work and house work at 85! She looked about 75! In I hopped into the pickup with Cody her grandson and Dakota his friend. They asked me all sorts of questions and wondered too why I didn't carry a gun. He said I don't look like most of the hikers they see they seem homeless. He also noted that he took out the rifle from the truck before we got in so it didn't scare me. They were great, I could have hung out with them all day kind of people. We got to the gas station and out we got, they even took my pack out for me. I told him it was his lucky birthday since I only had $20 on me and he said don't worry about it no charge. Oh the good people you meet! Thank you boys! In the gas station I bought a poweraide and still didn't have service, waiting in line to pay there was an older woman in front of me that reminded me of my nana. She had fancy jewlery on and carried herself with sass. After paying I followed them out to their newer SUV and waved them down, I asked if they were headed to Marion-she told me they were going to Abington which was past Marion. Would you mind taking me into Marion I asked? They agreed. I threw my pack in the back and her husband got out from the front seat and sat in the back, I told them no I could sit back there but she told me he can't hear anyways-I chuckled. Sitting in the front with company that is easy to talk to-doesn't get much better than that. I felt completely comfortable with them, like they were family. They asked me about myself and my journey and applauded me for my courage. Trying to decide whether to go to Marion or Atkins was tough at first. We got to Marion and it seemed like a neat little Main Street town-however the motel we pulled into reminded me if the Grand Prix back in Gatlinburg oh fond memories. She said she wouldn't feel comfortable leaving or staying there so we headed to the Chamber of Commerce to get some information. They waited outside for me and I ran in, the woman told me of Americas Best Value Inn and a list of good restaurants and off we drove to find this motel. We drove out of the little Main Street and stopped in a gas station to ask where the Inn was, she said about 3 lights further...that would be far to walk for the restaurants, I asked if there was any place to stay in the downtown area and she said there was the General Francis Marion Hotel but it was pricey. I tried calling they didn't answer, back in the car we headed back for Main Street and they knew where the hotel was. I ran inside, got a room, and returned to get my pack and expend my gratitude. Betty wrote down her and Bill's information and took down my name, she said she will say a prayer for my journey and a prayer that I find a great husband who I am meant to be with. These were two of the nicest, kindest people who went out of their way today for a complete stranger and I thank them so much! You will not be forgotten in my journey. In the hotel, I realized this was the nicest hotel I've stayed at in 2 months...and I loved it. I called my mom to fill her in on what had happened and where I was and she was relieved to know I was ok. I then took a shower, and asked downstairs where the best place to eat in town was. They said their restaurant but they're not open until dinner-doesn't help me right now. Next was the wooden pickle or wolfe's BBQ or there is a new place- 21 Lions. I tried Wooden Pickle, closed until dinner, I stepped in wolfe's to look at a menu-typical BBQ, not really feeling it. Tried to go to Trisha's where the woman in the commerce told me about they stopped serving at 2:00, it was 2:30. I walked by 21 Lions they said open again at 3:00 sorry for the inconvenience; am I not eating today? I went across the street to a local gift shop to look around, I found a bracelet with some fun wooden beads and a LOVE pendent. In the back they had it set up for moonshine and whiskey tasting-I asked about it, and it seems like it's not open yet-they haven't gotten all of the licenses in order. The bracelet was my only purchase. I talked with the two employees and they sold me on Wolfe's BBQ said they had great homemade macaroni and cheese and other items (basically went through their whole menu) so over there it went and ordered a Blue Moon, a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg and pickles and Mac and cheese as my side. As soon as I ordered I called my Papa-seems he was very worried as well. I think he watches my GPS tracker like he does Fox News; I love you Pup. After my delicious lunch I headed back to the room to lounge on the bed and be responsible to figure out where my next mail drop will be. I hate planning and figuring things out so that sucks, but my mom is amazing and sends me stuff so I suck it up for my benefit. I planned that I want to stay at Woods Hole Hostel which I should get there by Sunday and it sounds like an amazing place. I can get a private room in a wood cabin house that shares a bathroom with another double room, the offer complimentary yoga and meditation as well as laundry, the meals are locally grown and they also offer massages. I may never leave! So my next package will be sent there. After figuring that all out I decided to try and find some food to hold me over a day or two that I was lacking. I didn't want to walk all the way to dollar general outside of town by the first Inn I was thinking of staying at, so I hit up Sunoco and got some junk to hold me over with what I still have. I now know the purpose of a four post bed...to dry your laundry as well! How efficient. After I decided to check out the hotel restaurant for dinner since it was supposed to be the best in town-closed. Am I in Damascus again? Business sure don't operate like this up north. I went over to the Wooden Pickle-oh good open until 9:00, it is now 8:00. I sat at the bar and ordered a Shocktop and a Cuban sandwich (gotta get my liquid calories!) the waitstaff was very friendly and the bartender asked me about my journey and what I like to do when I'm not hiking. Seems Lynn is having some troubles of her own; her knee is inflamed meniscus;
time will heal If she was sedentary 3 months. Still haven't gotten ahold of Dexter to see if he is in town, I thought that was his plan since his mom was sending him stuff-maybe he doesn't want to be found?! I checked in with Ryan and seems he moves into his house next month how exciting! I told him how one of his songs we listened to on the road trip to DC was on and he asked if I have woken up to "I'm ready" yet-I said I haven't, but it is on my iPod; not even 5 minutes later it came on at the bar! What are the chances. They must listen to the same satellite radio station-but still, crazy! I headed back to my room and have been blogging since! This really takes awhile! Breakfast in the morning at the hotel and then to find a shuttle or ride back to the trail. It's past midnight-ugh! This bed is so comfy!