2019-Day 8: hiawassee zero day edition

Today was a zero day! And as such I have spent far too long staring at my phone, so today’S entry will be somewhat abbreviated. I had a lovely breakfast of Yogurt and granola from Walgreens at the picnic table under a giant tree. I organized my food. I perseverated over how to manage food drops from my current location through the smokies. I spoke to Oakland about a glorious snafu with my taxes. Apparently I was supposed to file a return in the state of California for 2017 even though I earned exactly ZERO dollars in the state of California in 2017. Poor Oakland has added the task of helping me solve this problem to her already overloaded plate.

I had a solo lunch at a small cafe next door that was hopping with Southern culture. I’m pretty sure the average age was 75 and “mashes taters” was on the specials board. I spent some time socializing with my fellow hikers, trying to fight my social demons that make me feel like I have the ability to awkwardify otherwise enjoyable experiences for other people. Nearly all of the hikers staying here at the moment smoke. So strange to me. And two of them have poison ivy/poison oak reactions, one of which is in the poor girl’s nether regions. Note to self: continue to be super vigilant about THAT.

I dried out my pack straps, though I’m not sure what difference it made. I sink-washed my various hand towels and my hiking shorts. I met both of the owner’s very friendly dogs (here’s one)

Mailed a couple of letters at “Goin’ Postal” (not kidding). Generally sat on my butt. Had a bit of mental battle between trying to keep a thoughtful and thorough record and just being a hiker bum on a zero day. Met a few new hikers and saw a few familiar faces trickle in as the day went by. I also managed to bang the BEJESUS out of my kneecap on the picnic table during my breakfast. So much so that it has been stiff and achy all day. Let’s just hope that works itself out overnight.

My pinky toe is feeling a bit better after draining most of the fluid in the blister (sorry, these are the things hikers talk about: blisters and rashes). My skin continues to be spotty and sad, but there’s nothing to be done about it. I suppose I could ask for my 3/4 length leggings but that makes me sweaty just thinking about having my kneepits covered.

Tomorrow: back into the woods! For a 4 day stint. I decided to try get in touch with the closer stop again this morning and managed to make a reservation. I will still be carrying a heavier food bag out of here, but I will be able to do laundry and charge up in 4 days rather than not being able to easily do laundry and stopping in 5 days. Details that might be total noise for most of you, but these are the things that keep me awake. I will be back in a few days!

Total miles: 77.5

Creature feature: a few mockingbirds, a bluebird (!), the owner’s dogs, and a resident badger that lives in the snarl of brush between here and Walgreens.

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