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AT 2017: Day 79, Zero Day in Virginia and Maryland

Then your life becomes a travelogue

Hike with Gravity

Today was supposed to be a zero day. In a strict definition of the term, as in a day of zero hiking miles, it was that.

But zero miles was certainly not the number put on my truck today.

Date
Weather Clear skies and warm
Today's Miles 0.0 miles
Trip Miles 1,023.1 miles

Our large hotel room in Leesburg came in handy, just as I expected it would. Kim was grateful for it too, because it allowed me to stash my smelly gear a reasonable distance away from us.

Much of the morning today was spent spreading out my gear and taking stock of what I might need for the second half of my hike.

When I started hiking in Georgia I was carrying an Arc'teryx Beta LT Hybrid rain jacket and rain pants. They were durable, weren’t too heavy, and provided good protection against cold and ice, as well as rain. Still, they were overkill once the weather began to warm up.

So when I met Kim in Pearisburg I swapped out the jacket for an older one I've had for several years, which was made by Integral Designs, a now-defunct company. I was hoping it was still reasonably waterproof because it was very light. Unfortunately, it didn’t keep me dry at all.

After a quick run to downtown Leesburg for coffee and donuts, we then headed to the REI store in North Bethesda, Md. I purchased there an Outdoor Research Helium II rain jacket. And though I won’t likely need them for the next couple months, I went ahead and bought rain pants, too.

I also picked up a new fuel canister. I don’t like to carry more fuel than necessary and I still had some, but I was unsure when the next opportunity would be to easily get more.

By this time hiker hunger was kicking in, so we went to a nearby restaurant for pizza.

We then drove up the interstate to Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Md.

Along the way we made a couple stops at quilt shops. All I can say to that is I try to be a supportive and patient spouse.

On the way back to Leesburg over backcountry roads we discovered a creamery, which demanded another stop.

Kim didn’t have hiker hunger, but she too is a supportive spouse.

We returned to our hotel at about 5:30 to relax a few minutes before dinner.

Some people might think our day was anything but relaxing. It’s true we drove more than 100 miles, but the day was more than running errands. It was a day of just being together. That’s all we wanted to do.

The day ended by meeting my friend, Ralph, for dinner. He had driven here from Tennessee today to join Stick and me on the trail for a few days starting tomorrow.

And speaking of tomorrow, a new chapter of the trail begins. With it comes new tests of physical and mental strength.

I am confident I’m up to the challenge.

I have no idea what I’m getting myself into.

The drone of flying engines Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets thru to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Of picture post card charms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

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