Day 66: Zero Day at Blackrock Hut

May 19, 2013

Today turned out to be an unexpected zero day for us. Miles only threw-up the one time last night, but he had no energy to hike and still didn’t feel well. We had no choice but to hang out at the campsite for the day. So far, I haven’t gotten sick yet, but you never know when the norovirus will strike!

Our zero day ended up being good for both of us. It gave Miles time to recover and it allowed me to rest. I didn’t realize how tired my body was until today when I ended up sleeping in and taking a nap just a few hours later. Clearly, I needed just as much rest as Miles did! We’ve done a lot of hiking in the past couple of weeks and because we were out of our normal routine, my body took advantage of the opportunity to rest.

It was a cloudy day with some rain here and there, so at least we didn’t miss a beautiful day of hiking. Miles was able to keep his food down today and is feeling much better this evening. We plan on picking up right where we left off and continuing on through the park tomorrow. We’re really excited for the end of the week. We’re heading to the DC area for Memorial Day weekend and taking a few days off to hang out with friends. They were supposed to pick us up outside of Front Royal, but since we’ve been delayed, we will most likely still be in the park. It’s not a big deal though. We were disappointed that we couldn’t hike today, but we just have to keep reminding ourselves that we’re not on a schedule and we don’t need to worry about it. I think we’re just used to living in a world of schedules and deadlines, so it’s easy to set destinations and mileage goals for yourself out here when you really don’t need to. The world revolves around being places at a certain time, having work done by a set deadline, and striving towards efficiency and promptness. I find it difficult not to set goals and not be disappointed when we get off “schedule.” But then I tell myself, “Hey, Lindsey. What’s the rush? You don’t have to be anywhere by any certain time or date. You get there when you get there.” I think we’re fortunate to live in this different lifestyle where you forget what day of the week it is because it doesn’t matter and when you curl up in your sleeping bag at night, whether it was a good day or a bad day, and reflect on your hike, the things you saw, and the people you met. You realize how far your feet can take you. And you appreciate the concepts of distance and time. You experience the far ends of the emotional spectrum, from pure joy to pure pain. Away from your former reality, you begin to delve deeper into the inner workings of yourself and everything around you.

It’s a rainy night. I’m rested and warm. I smell bad and my legs are dirty. I’m about to curl up in my bag and read a good book. I’ll most likely nod off in mid-sentence, my dreams beginning to meld with the lines of the novel. The sound of rain drops hitting the tent and distant birds still awake at the night hours will comfort me as I finally take my rest, and not rise again until the morning light.

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