Miles Today: 11.3
Mile Marker: 590.1 Bland, VA
Last night as I was getting ready to go to sleep I kept hearing someone walking around near my tent. Which is weird because I was on the outside edge of camp. Once everyone quieted down and went to bed, I heard someone walking around again. Realizing it may not be a person and remembering the recent bear encounter sign on the shelter, I poked my head out to check. I turned on my headlamp, which is like a spotlight, and found a deer 10 yards from my tent grazing. Needless to say it was quite confused, but ran away when I started laughing.
I woke up this morning and tried to get going at 6:00, but I still couldn't do it. I've grown accustomed to my 10-11 hours of sleep. I know that sounds ridiculous, but honestly my body does need it. Once I finally got up and going I talked to Boo Boo who asked if I heard anything last night. We laughed about the deer, but he said he was talking about someone throwing up. It turns out it was Tailgate. Apparently he was sick all night. He was planning on going into town today too, but looked miserable. He was in surprisingly good spirits though. I gave him some imodium I had and grabbed his bear bag for him. Hopefully he's okay, because I know he's out of food at this point. He normally gets started at 9:30 anyway, so I went ahead and left around 7:30. As I was leaving I heard him throw up again. Pogo was still with him, and Pogo had plenty of food, so they should be okay.
All I've been able to think about for the last couple of days has been getting to town and getting some DQ. I hiked 11.3 miles to the road, and I got there at 12:15. Perfect time for lunch. Unfortunately I didn't get a ride into town until 1:00. Thanks Doty! She saw me on the way by as she was dropping her nephew off at work and said to herself she'd pick me up if I was still there on the way back. Of course I still was. Once I got to the DQ I got a double cheeseburger with fries and an M&M Blizzard. All was right with the world again. The DQ is attached to the gas station, so I grabbed a Poweraid for the road. I asked the guy at the register if I could sit outside and charge my phone. He said sure, and also there was one in the back corner. So I entered full hiker trash mode and carved out a hole in the stack of boxes in the back and sat down on the floor and charged my phone and drank my Poweraid. Much better being inside in the AC. It's now officially in the mid 80s during the day, so the AC is a welcome change.
As I was headed to get my resupply it started to drizzle. By the time I got in the Dollar General, it was full on raining. I checked the forecast, and it said the rain would only last an hour. While I was taking my time shopping I got a severe weather alert calling for thunderstorms, quarter inch hail, and 60mph winds. I wasn't planning on staying in Bland, but after that I called the Zero Days Hostel and Jeremy came and picked me up. Not a bad little place out in the country. Got a shower, did laundry, and slept on a bed made of springs and cheesecloth. I ran into Grok, Nomad, and Raven there. Of course none of the weather come through that night, but oh well. I only lost a handful of miles, so no big deal. Tomorrow morning Jeremy is taking Nomad, Raven, and me back to the trail. Grok is staying there to do some work. I think he's a professionally homeless hiker. He says he's been living out of his backpack for the last 7 years and “doing 3,000 miles a year”. From what I've heard it's common to run into “hikers” in Virginia who are really just homeless people. Not a bad way to go really if you're homeless. There are hiker boxes, trail magic, work for stay opportunities, and thru hikers tend to share.