Thursday, September 15, 2016

Day 5 - Hot Springs Near-O Day

What's a "near-o?" In hiker lingo, a "zero day" is no miles hiked. A near-o is very few - either a short hike into a town, or a short hike out of town. Here's how my Hot Springs stay unfolded.

For dinner last night I went down the street to Creekside station with Kiwi, another guest at Sunnybank. He's a retired New Zealand Navy officer who spends his time traveling and doing outdoor education. One of the lines on his business car reads "Tramper/Traveller." Now that's a job description I'd like to have!
Kiwi at Sunnybank Inn

In the morning, Elmer served breakfast to the crew: myself, Kiwi, Lewis and Clark - a young couple from Richmond, plus himself and his assistant, a young 2009 thruhiker. Elmer had us all introduce ourselves, and conversation flowed from there, mainly ranging to all topics trail related.
The Wash Tub

Next, it was town chores - laundry at The Washtub, then a stop at Bluff Mountain Outfitters for food and stove fuel. While I was there, the clerk picked my brain on my new Altra Lone Peak 3.0 shoes. My take? Two thumbs up - thanks Crozet Running!
Ever notice that outdoors people love stickers?

A quick lunch, then back to Sunnybank to pick up my pack and I was on my way. A short hike up a steep mountain, and I settled in at the first shelter. Joining me tonight - Hank, an aspiring thruhiker testing everything out on his first trip (and doing well, I'd say!), and Anthony, a young man with a massive pack heading NOBOfrom Springer. He's in no hurry and enjoying life on the trail.

I'll leave you with Iron Chef, AT edition - Hiker Pad Thai. One package Lipton Teriyaki noodles, one package spicy salmon, Texas Pete, red pepper, salt, and a spoonful of peanut butter. Yum!

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