My first zero day!
I had to get up at 5 to pee. But the bathroom light would not turn on! It was a bit eerie to have to leave the door open to go to the bathroom. I returned to my sleeping bag and got up for good after 7. My hair looked like a big mess! It was hard to fix and I really didn’t want to go into town looking like that, but I wanted breakfast! I went out looking for a place to eat.
There weren’t as many cafes as I expected! After walking up and down the main street, I went into Sweetie’s (a new place). I got a “New York Joannie”- fried eggs, avocado, and tomato on a bagel. The coffee was kind of cold. I felt so lonely eating by myself again. More tears rolled down my face. I wanted to relax for awhile and not rush anywhere, so I sat and put my earphones in to listen to the new Mumford and Sons song. It was the first music I had heard on the trail!
For desert, I got a chocolate chip scone. The girl who waited on me had a really bad attitude (completely opposite to her co-worker). People’s moods have a big effect on me, but it is even more noticeable when I am alone, traveling. Is it really so hard to be friendly? She went to the back of the place to put my scone in the microwave and then forgot all about it. I finally had to ask the manager for it.
After breakfast, I returned to the hostel to do my laundry, sort through all of my food and supplies, and call Laura (my Swiss friend didn’t want to talk). The doorbell rang and the Fed-ex guy asked for me! My crocs had arrived! Luckily, I was there when he came because he needed a signature. There was no note in the package, but my friend had put some insoles from CVS in it, as well as manicuring scissors (which I thought at first were for me, but then realized they were meant to cut open the packaging of the insoles). How sweet! He got me platform Crocs which were much heavier than my old ones and very unstable for my feet that were used to being in trail shoes! I went to the outfitters to see if they had the Superfeet insoles that I really needed. They did! I checked out the sleeping pads that they had, but they were too heavy. (I had made it this far, essentially sleeping on the ground, so I knew I could manage the rest of the way!). Afterwards,I walked to the Safeway at the opposite end of town to look for a new notebook to journal in.
I ate a frittata and drank a little lemonade at Plough Boy, and then walked to an ice cream shop for dessert on my way back.
By the time I returned to the hostel, I was so tired! I just wanted to sleep! I could tell from the color and thickness of the mucous from my daily sinus infection, that my body was run down. I still wasn’t finished with my chores, however! I had to go to the Post Office to mail the extra things I didn’t need back home. Zero days might seem restful, but they are actually quite the opposite! We run all over town and do chores all day long, fitting in food whenever possible.
I returned to Amica’s for dinner. This time, I had a margherita pizza and a root beer, and I got to sit at my own table. I enjoyed the pizza much more than the panini. And they had the peanut butter mousse that I missed out on last night!
While I waited for my food, I looked at the guidebook pages for the next section. The young couple next to me asked me if I was hiking the CT. They were amazed I was doing the whole thing alone! The guy said I put him to shame!
I walked down to the river and discovered a nice park! Right away, I felt more peaceful and comfortable. I had found the romantic part of town! I sat on some rocks and watched a couple paddle boarding.
I couldn’t imagine myself living in any of the towns I had stopped in along the trail so far, including this one- until I found this part! I continued walking along the river and found the bluegrass band that the people at the community table last night had mentioned. I didn’t want anymore food, so I just stayed at a distance and sat on the rocks, watching a little girl play in the water while her father took photographs of her. I was very content.
I saw a cloud that had a ring of sunlight around it like a halo, and decided to see if I could get a better view of it. I walked around the back of the restaurant, and a girl in an apron, sitting on the steps smoking, asked me if I had had a nice dinner. I told her I didn’t eat there. “Well, if you have some money, they have some really good food here.” I thanked her and walked on, then headed back to the river. There is an “S” on a dirt hill that you can see throughout town, and I saw that it was lit up in yellow lights as evening fell. Then, I saw the lights switch to a red heart! This town was growing on me.
I headed back to the hostel and went up to my room. I had to get my things together, get some sleep, and be ready to get up early and find a ride back to the trail. It was time to start hiking again!