Day 10: tater tot edition 

As I went to sleep last night, I came to terms with my need for a zero day. I then proceeded to sleep like the dead until about 630. Everyone stirred around the same time, but no one made moves to actually get out of bed. The unspoken rule is that you stay in the real bed for as long as possible but when you used to wake me up around 530 that doesn’t end up being very late. Chrissy went off to scout out the potential for breakfast and came back with news of many muffins and fruit. Breakfast in bed:

I definitely missed my coffee this morning, but not so much that I was willing to drink motel coffee. After breakfast, the rest of the group made their decision to take a zero, and everyone went their own directions to do their chores, which ranged from dealing with accounting issues to updating blogs. I iced my shin and started updating pictures and posts from a couple of days ago. Marie, one of the caretakers of the inn, offered to give us a ride to Walmart because she had a few errands to run her self. I jumped at the chance for a real grocery store because the one in Boiling Springs may not be that great. As we rode past old houses with beautiful porches and through the hills of Mount Holly Springs, Marie talked about the industry in the area and how immigration may impact agriculture production. She dropped Chrissy and me off at Walmart and we scattered in opposite directions and one about our shopping. It’s been quite a while since I’ve stepped foot in Walmart, and it was overwhelming and annoyingly large. I had to ask where things were at least five times. Here’s a shot of my resupply for about 4 days. ($35)

After Walmart I had an enjoyable lunch of dinner leftovers and forced myself to not go outside. The sun finally came out, and it turned into a beautiful day, but part of resting is also giving my skin a break. I stretched, I wrote a letter and a postcard, and I soaked my feet in Epsom salts care of the hiker box at the inn. It was my first experience digging through a hiker box, and it was pretty exciting. It’s hard to resist things that you don’t necessarily need because they’re free, But they come with the cost of carrying the weight. 
Chrissy and halfway decided to go for a walk, which was incredibly hard to resist but I said no. I did however take a short walk down to the post office and back to the dollar store to get baking soda. I happened to remember that baking soda feels really soothing on uncomfortable skin conditions. So I made a paste and put it on the tops of my hands, my forearm, and my sad, sad ears. Chrissy brought me surprise tater tot’s from sheetz because I had been talking about them with some frequency yesterday. I also asked the innkeeper if they had them on the menu at the tavern restaurant, which got a few laughs on the car ride from the trail. I can’t tell you how exciting and touching it was to get them as a surprise.

Around 530 we congregated in one of the rooms and had happy hour. I succumbed to my beer craving because there were cheese and crackers the trio is just too hard to resist. 

At one point, I realized we were all sitting around talking, drinking beer, and raptly watching the weather channel, henceforth known as hikervision. Around 745, I peeled away to call my mom. We usually talk about once a week, but I’ve been conservative with battery life this past week. It helped to hear her excitement and pride, and it makes me want to keep going all the more even though I know this whole thing scares the poop out of her. (me too, mom)
Now I’m loafing on the king sized bed while Chrissy fusses with packing snacks and grumbles about how she bought too much food at Walmart. Again. Tomorrow, we hike. 

** if you want to send mail, I have finally updated the “where to care” page with a couple of known mail drop locations. 
No miles today unless you count how many times I walked to family dollar. 
Creature feature: on my walk to the post office, a cardinal flitted around the box hedges of someone’s yard and then crossed the street to land in a dogwood. 

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