Letting Go

April 5, 2018

Destination: Damascus, VA Today's Miles: 0

Start Location: Damascus, VA Trip Miles: 470

Hungry Cat's convertible ride
Yep. Still here.

Remember that movie with Bill Murray called “Groundhog Day?” I’m really glad that in my version I’m not working! I’m officially a man of leisure in Damascus. I feel like a local now. I tell other hikers where things are, what times things open and close, what the best items on the menu at Mojo’s are. I tell stories about the local cat Smokey - how fat he is and how he eats the birds in Lee’s yard. I explain how laundry works at the inn and that there are scrubs to wear while said laundry is being done. I walk the Creeper trail to Mojo’s and waive hello to the cyclists. I know the lady who works at Subway and she asked how I was doing as I left Mojo’s today, where I am on a first name basis with the waitresses and it is only a matter of time before I start washing dishes. I know that the Broken Fiddle is the “party hostel” in town. I know that it is better to team up to order multiple pizzas from Pizza Plus or you end up spending a lot more with delivery. I can give you a long list of Mojo’s desserts and rank them in order of their relative awesomeness. I know what brands of shoes are sold at each of the outfitters and I know who has the best selection of mountain house meals. I also know that just down the street there is a modest property for sale that includes a small cabin for $200k, which seems expensive but it includes a lovely tract of land right off beaverdam creek. I know the various flavors of Epsom salts available at the Dollar General, and I know that ziplock bags are on aisle 6 at Food City.

Get. Me. Out!!!

In all honesty, while I am very antsy to get back on the trail, it’s been nice doing a lot of nothing. I’ve gained back some weight. I’ve been chatting a lot with other hikers, and I’ve caught up on some Netflix. Somehow the days still seem to pass relatively quickly. I needed the lesson in patience. I was groomed to be and required to be a 150mph multi-tasking machine during my career in the tech world. It really takes a lot to unwind and unpack all of that baggage. I feel like this situation with my heels has been inserted into my journey as an emergency measure to get me to slow down. It’s working. And the irony is, it plays on my pragmatism. It knows that I view this time as an investment towards accomplishing my hike. I invest the time and care, my heels get better, and I hike on. If I head out too early, my investment is wasted and I start back at square one. It knows I cannot ignore this practical reality. And so I hide my time and let my body heal.

My heels are healing. Every day they are a bit better. Right now it looks like I might be able to start hiking again on Saturday. I plan to evaluate tomorrow again of course. Brutal honesty and acceptance are the only things that will serve me well here. 

Last night when I went back to the bunkhouse Traveler was in the bunk above me. When I woke up, myself, Traveler, Captain Krispy, Bear Meat and Clooney all went to breakfast. It was Clooney’s birthday, so it was extra festive! Most of us got the huevos rancheros (those are the best!). I of course got two cinnamon buns. Fattening up in Damascus is easy!  We chatted a lot, then walked back to the bunkhouse. Traveler and I gabbed some more, and I talked more with the Captain as well. 

Lee, per her usual sweet self, agreed to give Bear Meat and Clooney a ride to Food City to resupply, and I decided to tag along to get some veggies to make a salad for lunch. I then found out that Lee drives a convertible. I had never ridden in a convertible before, so I got excited to ride with the top down. I felt like a king - like Vanilla Ice on the A1A, only back in the 90s before he was just flipping houses. The trip to food city was quick. I grabbed some candles to slip to Bear Meat for later so that maybe they could put one in a dessert for Clooney’s birthday at dinner. Hopefully that worked out.

When we got back I chatted with Traveler again and had some Yerba Mate tea. I made my salad and ate it - power greens, cherry tomatoes (yellow ones), Gorgonzola and ginger dressing (Makata).  Then I went and napped for a while. Apparently Captain Krispy did his whole resupply organization while I slept, including talking to himself, because he didn’t even see me under the pile of covers. I was oblivious to it all, sleeping soundly. I really like the midday siesta thing. I could get used to that!

Later, closer to 5, Traveler and I walked down to Mojos and got take out. I grabbed a West Coast Reuben and a piece of German chocolate pie. I ate it back at the house with some more salad while watching Netflix. I chatted with Gillian for a bit. She sent me an adorable picture of Lucy the cat standing on our coffee table trying to get Gillian to play with her ribbon, her favorite toy. I miss them both dearly, and that is harder when I’m not doing much other than resting up.

I decided to take a second shower because, well, why not?

Tomorrow will be another day. Bear Meat, Clooney, and the Captain will head out. I’m not sure about Traveler. New people will probably come into the bunk house. The bubble is looming behind me. It is what it is. I have to let that go and focus on healing and only leaning when I am in good shape to hike.

I’m grateful for the camaraderie today and for the sunny skies we had. It was fun to have Traveler and The Captain in the bunkhouse. I was grateful for the convertible experience (box checked!) and  for the ability to rest and nap comfortably and to start to be able to let go of some of my restlessness (albeit not all) and just be. Progress, not perfection! I’ll take it. I’m sure you are all getting a bit bored of the Damascus entries, but don’t worry - there will be plenty of interesting adventurous days to come!  Soon....

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