9-23-09 day 113
start: Wilson Creek Shelter, VA
end: Lamberts Meadow Shelter, VA
daily mileage: 20.6
total mileage: 1469.1
Just as it should have the alarm went off at midnight. We started stirring around only to notice it was raining pretty solid. Our plan looked doubtful as we ate breakfast, but the rain abated quickly. We ate and packed quietly, and set off into the night. When walking in the woods in the dark with only the dim beam of your headlamp to guide you, your mind starts to wander (even more than normally). As Disney and I chatted the conversation quickly turned to zombies and zombie attacks. After examining our position we decided we'd totally get our brains eaten if zombies came running out of the woods.
The rain from early on wasn't over and it sprinkled off and on throughout the night, stirring up some wicked mist. If you've ever driven through fog with the high beams on, walking with a headlamp is no different. Not to mention Disney was experiencing some chronic glasses fogging. As we approached to the Troutville highway interchange (home of the Waffle House), our hearts soared with the melodic sounds of car engines and semis downshifting, we were close. The trail takes a winding path through crossing highways and we were startled to see our lights glinting of the eyes of a dead deer under one of the overpasses. After poking it with a stick we could tell it had just been hit, and looked like some bad juju as we walked, invisible, next to the screaming traffic.
We made it safely to our destination just before 5 in the morning. Feeling like kings we both downed an All-Star Breakfast and a chicken sandwich. Sitting there digesting, we realized how tired we were and began musing about where we could take a nap. We tossed around going under and overpass, and then Disney suggested we should ask at the hotel next door if we could nap in someones room who'd already checked out before they cleaned it. We laughed but agreed that would be awesome. Well, the hotel was next door after all... so we walked over. We found the Professor, Curse, and Little Dipper had stayed there last night as well as Dipper's aunt. They were checking out and Dipper's aunt said, "sure you can go up and nap"...holy crap! Dream come true! Up in the room we showered, did our laundry in the sink and slept in the fantastic hotel beds. Wow, what incredible luck!
On the way our we hit up the Internet in the lobby and the hiker box in the corner. We got some sweet food out of the box and cut out like 4 meals we didn't have to buy later when we re-supplied. We finally got out of town around 3 and had a nice 9 mile hike up to the next shelter. The weather cleared up nicely, even if it was a little humid. Waffle House and a free hotel nap. Freaking awesome day.