It was a rainy morning in Daleville, but we were shielded by the coffee shop’s awning. We sipped their hot brew while we charged our phones, and feverishly downloaded podcasts and audiobooks on their wifi. Turtle Goat was gazing in thought and suddenly said:
“I think loitering is my favorite pastime now.” The three of us nodded in agreement.
Like hitchhiking, becoming comfortable with loitering is another part of thru-hiker life. Whether shelling all of the useless cardboard from your latest batch of groceries, or making a single cup of coffee seemingly last three hours to avoid the rain, it’s essential.
Today I am spending my lunch loitering in front of a gas station .3E off trail. I heard there were burgers, and the rumors were true. With a quarter pounder down and a side of mac and cheese down the hatch, I’m now enjoying the shade and charging my phone on an open outlet.
Finding outlets everywhere is another essential thru-hiking skill. It’s the first thing you do at any restaurant. Then of course, you check for wifi.
It’s always fun to people watch, and try to guess which ones think I’m homeless. This is a nice spot in particular though, with great scenery. Sure there are women on the trail, but it’s a treat to see a girl in normal clothes, who has actually shaved her legs within last month…
Time to head back to the trail though. Six miles to Harpers Ferry, more burgers, and hopefully more scenery. Dirty Girl needs a dirty girl. Here’s hoping for a hiker-friendly bar.
Update: Two former thru-hikers just gave me a ride back to the trailhead, where there was a cooler full of trail magic waiting. Yes, the trail provides!