Day 6, delayed (no service)
We got a late start today due to enjoying our motel room, access to laundry, and a breakfast buffet right across the street. When we did hit the road, it was around 10 am and the forecast was gloomy. Passing quickly through downtown Lexington VA, we saw the campuses of both the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. We continued on with the hopes of getting to Catawba, where we had read there was a hostel for hikers and other travelers, but would make that call when we arrived in Daleville, 16 miles from Catawba. Along the way, I began to feel heavy, and stopped to used my C02 tire inflater for the first time. I was worried I would do it wrong and deflate my tire, but it worked like a charm on my first try. I actually broke out in laughter from joy, seeing as I spent close to an hour trying to fill up our tires with my hand pump on day 2 with little to show for it. Feeling crisp, I made it to Daleville around 3:30pm. With 5 hours of sunlight left, a good day of dry weather so far, and the thought of a roof and a shower we pushed to Catawba. On my way there a storm hit fast and hard. I pulled off the road, luckily next to what looked like a town maintenance/water/electric building and waited it out. I arrived to the hostel and was quickly taken in. I find out the hostel was along the Appalachian Trail, and is used primarily by hikers either going south to Georgia or north to Maine, of which there were about 5. We sat back, showered, played some chess, and planned for a rest day the next day, as the forecast was poor and we had found a nice spot.
A little while later when preparing for bed, a cat walked into the room (a garage on a farm) with a live bird in it’s mouth, and went to present it as a gift to its favorite hiker, who appears to have been here a number of times before. He was able to get it outside. I soon found out he was from South Boston, and quickly recognized his dirty Southie accent. He told me that this wasn’t the first time something like that had happened, as he was sleeping in a truck in Cape Cod and his dog jumped out, and then jumped back in with a live skunk.
These hikers are some interesting people. Given what they do, wander in the woods, “the green tunnel” as one hiker put it, for months on end, it makes sense to have a screw loose, or 2.