A taxing question, no?!
When this question pops up it’s usually because one deserves a day of no trail miles (a zero) or few (a nearo – probably considered, at this point (801 miles) anything less than 10 miles for most hikers).
Sometimes we may not actually deserve it and just want to drink beer and watch England play Italy in the quarter finals of the Euros, we may also have some aches or pains that’ll really improve after 24 hours extra rest, possibly we may have hiked 97 miles in 5 days and are a bit beat down by 90* sun and storms. Or, it could be a combination of all of the above. That’s me. Today. I guess then, I already answered my own question.
A zero it is then.
Nearos are pretty neat if you get your shit together, but my shit is rarely ever together. In fact in the majoity of ‘mericun towns (there’s no A in ‘merica, boy!) nothing is ever together. It’s usually pretty damn far apart. The supermarket is over there but the motel and post office are at opposite ends of a different bloody stripmall that supposedly houses several thousand residents, somewhere. How is one supposed to get one’s shit together without a car in this bloody place?!
How convenient?! Blame ‘merican town planning for your alcohol problem.
This town (Buena Vista, VA) isn’t anything special though it does have a bridge and surprisingly, a decent view from my motel parking lot, so that makes it better than most trail towns.
My favourite trail town is not this one, nor shock horror Damascus (I was secretly pretty disapointed, but I’d be strung up for suggesting such a thing). My favourite by a way up to now is Gatlinburg. Nope, I’m not shitting you. It was fairly pretty, had a high street with shops next door to shops (pretty important to be considered a town), there is (I believe) the only liquor store in the first few hundred miles on the beaten path, hilarious southern tourists and their shenanigans that reminded me fondly of Blackpool and two extremely quick and awesome hitches from locals. I could go on. The airsoft guns and florescent tshirts deserve an entire blog by themselves. Bask in your tack, ‘mericans!
That’s just my point of view though. A quick hitch will make any town seem like it’s paved with gold.
Hitching is fun. I especially like pickups full of guns and spent shells like yesterday. Now, I’m no expert but there are a few things any budding thru-hiker like yourself should be aware of. Number 1 – It’s much easier to hitch as a girl. 1b – It’s also easier to hitch with a girl. 2. It’s way easier if you don’t look insane (harder these days). 3. Doing the magically-appearing-thumb-from-under-the-hat trick and other such feats of hilarity like dropping it like it’s hot massively increase chances (or at least keep morale high on a crappy hitch!) 4. Cases of beer by one’s side has never hindered me. I get picked up quick by local drinking gold ole boys at light speed, in fact. 5. errrr….
Anyway… I’m off to find Skirt, Mac and Snickers to grab some breakfast.