Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 79-Fine Dining After Hiking 15.5 Miles

So can I tell you how great it is to heat up scrambled eggs in the morning! I had eggs, 2 cheese Danish, and a banana. The drive to the gap was better than yesterday until he almost hit a dog in the middle of the road, and then Papa thought he was going to go for a hike until he realized he couldn't walk up the paved hill at the campground. Better stick to drop off and pickup and leave the hiking to me. I am back in my new, old Merrells and the hot spot on my right foot feels great. I love all the suspension bridges Virginia has had thus far! The first 2.5 miles went by fast in an hour, and then I was faced with a long uphill. At the start of it I almost passed right by a rattlesnake! The path went through some rocks to the right and the snake was coiled up like it was sitting on a shelf, when I realized it was there I backed up. Not hearing a rattle; I knew it didn't feel threatened so I zoomed in for a photo. After knowing I couldn't pass through, I decided to bushwhack up the hill to the left of the snake and go around. What would purists do-walk by the snake and chance getting bit?! No thanks. The rest of the uphill was uneventful, the weather was overcast so the views were pure white fog. Nearing the top; the wind started to pick up and it was misting out, I decided to put the trash bag I brought over my pack as a mock rain cover. It never ended up pouring which is a good thing but I rather be safe than sorry. The weather started to clear and I sat at an overlook to eat my lunch (ham, provolone, and lettuce sandwhich for anyone who forgot.) I had told Nana and Papa I would be at the pickup between 3:00 and 3:30, by this point it was leaning more towards the 3:00 end. I crossed the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway) and had 4.8 miles until I crossed again where Nana and Papa would be. The walk after the parkway was so nice and my hike up until then hadn't even bad even with the big uphill-until the last 2 hours of my day I was walking on rocks. My least favorite terrain are the endless patches of small rocks that are loose, or spread too far apart to walk from rock to rock. This is what I ended my day with. I decided since I had service and would be able to charge my phone to put on Pandora to listen to some tunes while walking. I sent a text to Nana to let her know I would be there at 3:00 and Papa sent me a text saying he was at Reeds Gap (the first BRP crossing 4 miles back!) Trying to keep my cool as much as possible (we all know it is VERY hard for me to) I told him I would be at our original planned spot and he needs to be there to get me. The amazing part is what takes me 2 hours to walk, is right down the road driving. They were there before me and all was fine when I arrived; besides Nana standing on the other side of the trail waiting to take my photo when that is where I will head out of tomorrow! Oh well, I had service, they had service, and we found each other as planned. Papa is always so nervous of that happening that he sits in his computer for 3 hours at night looking at Google satellite maps. Nana says he does it in the morning too, and still there was a disconnect. After sitting in the car for a few minutes, I felt something crawling on my leg-a tick! Ugh I hate finding ticks, I always feel like everything is crawling on me after; I threw it out the window. Once we got to the campground; we stopped in the store to get another Oreo ice cream sandwhich, I took a nice shower, and we got ready to go to dinner in Staunton. We tried to go to Zynodoa for lunch the other day; but they are only open for dinner, now we can try it! I walked in to no customers in the restaurant; and told the host 3, he asked what the name for the reservation was-I replied we didn't have one. He looked disheveled and went and got a woman, he said a lot of people were coming in who made reservations. She came and sat us in the first booth. Another host was on the phone with someone making a reservation for Saturday, seems this place is in high demand. Our server was a little...snoody. He warmed up to me it seemed after awhile, but as a whole it may just be the restaurant style. I mean I am a clean hiker, it's not like I came in dressed up in high heels-but money is money. Papa ordered a drink and the waiter walked away...uh, hi-I would like to order something and I am sure Nana does as well. He brought Papa's drink and I told him I would like to order a drink, and she would as well. I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir, and he brought a spicy peanut brittle which was very different to see in a restaurant but really good! I ordered a lime and chorizo risotto starter as my meal but then realizing what kind of dining this was, it would probably be small portioned. I ordered spinach and ricotta gnocchi as well. Nana got the gnocchi, and both of my entrees were great! I got in the car and could feel the exhaustion setting in. When we got back I made my sandwich, filled my pack, got ready for bed, and now it's almost 9:30 and my eyes are slowly closing. If you look at my alarms they are preset at 5:30, 5:45, 6:00, and 6:30; if you had told me 4 months ago I would be getting up at 6am daily and in bed by 9:30 at night I wouldn't have believed you. Crazy-goodnight friends! Tomorrow we are moving to a new campground while I am out hiking.

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