Miles Hiked: 4.8
Miles Left: 1357.3
Ending Location: Mile 828.0, VA 56 road crossing, Quality Inn, Waynesboro VA
That morning my fever had broken and I was able to eat some solid food for the first time in 24 hours. Feeling better, Owl arranged to rent a car from Enterprise and have them pick us up at the trail head. With their free pickup and drop off policy, Enterprise is often jokingly referred to as the Enterprise taxi service by hikers as it often can be cheaper to rent a car for the day than hire a shuttle. After that it was just a matter if hiking the remaining four miles to the road which still wasn’t all that much fun. What I really wanted was a bath, air conditioning and a bed.
It took our driver quite a while to find us. I’m not giving him a hard time. I’m actually still surprised we were able to say “pick us up on some random stretch of country road and here’s a gps location if that’ll help” and actually have someone show up. The driver was a retired cop who had some good stories and I’m pretty sure annoys the daylights out of everyone else at the office. He made several comments such as, “Well that’s what happens when you let 25 year olds run the place…” On the plus side, he told the manager he used the tip Owl gave him to buy gas so we had that taken off our bill.
Checking in to the hotel, even though it was 4:30 our rooms were still not clean and ready for us. I was not amused as I wanted that shower now! The rooms were cleaned though so soon enough so was I. After that it was nap time. Later that night a bunch of people went out to the AYCE Chinese buffet. Backing up a bit, several of our old friends had been waiting in Waynesboro for us so that we all could rent canoes and go aqua blazing along the Shenandoah river together. A lot of them like Youngbeard, Sunshine, and Vegimite I hadn’t seen since we had gotten off the trail for a week when Owl had his intestinal difficulties so I really wanted to hang out with them. At the same time I was ravenously hungry. All I had eaten in the last 48 hours was two energy bars and just because I was sick didn’t mean my metabolism had been put on hold. So that’s a longer way of saying that even though in retrospect it sounds like a really dumb idea, I went out to Chinese along with everyone else. It was actually a very enjoyable evening and I had a great time, but at the end of it I was feeling very tired and declined to go out for drinks afterwards.
Then it was back to my room and back to bed … for at least a couple of hours anyways. I won’t be too graphic but I awoke that night to a demonstration of what happens when you attempt to shove five pounds of Chinese food into twenty feet of empty tubing. It was a very uncomfortable experience but I made it through it without blowing out my gut so I count that a success.