Dean woke us up for breakfast at 8:30 since it ended at 9 and he knew we wouldn't want to miss it. He seems to be our morning angel. Breakfast was the better than the normal hotel biege, that is it had biscuits and gravy and the donuts and mini Muffins were of assorted flavors. Go HoJo's! We sat with Happy Hour and PTang. Happy Hour unfortunately had to fly home that night since his grandmother had a stroke and it didn't look like she would be around very long. He was going to go over to Roanoke airport, fly home that night, then fly back the following night. Our best to him and his family. We headed back to get our zero day chores done. Tyler went off to do laundry. The machines accepted credit cards, fancy, fancy but there was only one dryer which was a major line blocker. Luckily, it was about 85 and nothing but sun so our clothes, Dean's clothes, and Monty's clothes all went along the motel railing. It's pretty easy to find the hiker rooms in these towns.
The neighboring city, Troutville, was having its own small trail days this weekend with vendors and events. They tried to organize a 5k, but apparently it got canceled when no one wanted to run... There was a shuttle that would run hikers over from Daleville for free. And apparently even further away to bring hikers to a nearby river for some tubing relaxation. We weren't going to be ready by 10:30 to go tubing but hoped we could get out there later. We headed out to Troutville around 12 with an uber since the shuttle was taking people to the river. We were starved, but unfortunately the food options at the trail days were fairly limited and not particularly cost effective given our appetites. There weren't many people there and the bluegrass band had an audience of one which was sad because they were really good. We decided to just head back to the hotel. This decision was affirmed when we saw Dean's trail buddy, Peregrine, who Dean had hiked tirelessly to catch. There was much rejoicing when they saw each other. Peregrine said they were all headed back to the Howard Johnson's to relax by the pool. We decided to do the same, after visiting the Pizza Hut across the street for excessive amounts of pizza. The pool was a who's who of our little hiker bubble. Ptang, Extra Mile, Leap Frog, Emasius, Lost, River, Spitfire, Monty, Fean, Peregrine, and Nemo were all enjoying the sun and correcting some heinous farmer tans. The guys were using their hiking shorts for swimming, the girls were either using shorts and sports bras, or Goodwill acquired suitz for the pool. There are some new names here, so a quick rundown.
River and Lost are two women from Bangor, Maine hiking the trail together. It sounds like Lost missed part of the trail, but plans on returning later. We first met the two of them, in passing, at Woods Hole Hostel. Nemo is an eccentric man, older than us who always wears his prescription sunglasses and apparently just backpacks all over the world thanks to being funded by shorting the housing market before the crash. The pool was excellent! Nemo floated around on his camp mattress in the pool, Spitfire jumped in fairly regularly every five minutes, and Peregrine, though fairly skinny, was an expert in wide ordinance cannon balls. Most of the guys received strange and extensive sunburns on their ultra pale chests. Monty in particular was well lobstered. At the end of the hanging, Patch, Redwood, and Red Eye also showed up. Patch and Redwood almost immediately jumped in the pool (pre shower) which added a fine sheen to the top layer of pool for a while. Luckily, the hotel does really seem to like hikers. We planned on going to the movies to see whatever with some of the others. We had a little trouble finding out Ziploc wallet, and then just decided doing even less than watching a movie would be great. Tyler headed to get some resupply groceries, then we sat around watching movies and the Stanley Cup with Monty. It is true. Canadians do need to watch that hockey. That pretty much describes the rest of the evening. There was another load of laundry, blog updating, channel surfing, and general relaxation had by all. We weren't even that jealous when Dean and Peregrine (sleeping on the hotel room floor for the evening) said the new pirates movie was pretty good.