As the day rolled on I was just cruising along lost in thought. I tend to daydream a lot about all sorts of crazy ideas. You know when you are driving and you start to daydream and then all of a sudden you snap out of it and you don't remember actively driving. That is what has been happening lately. I guess I am getting used to the motions of placing my feet. Don't get me wrong, when this happens it is not on smooth well maintained ground, it is normally rocky or covered in roots, but I don't remember picking the spots to place my feet. If you think about it, it really is strange. Who was driving if I wasn't paying attention? Who chose to put my foot down next to the rock instead of smacking directly into it? It sure wasn't me, I was off in la-la land. Well I was in one of those modes when something screamed inside of me to stop. So right as I was about to step over a branch I stopped and looked I what I was actually going to step over.
Later in the day I reached the shelter I was going to stay at for the night. There was an entry in the shelter register that mentioned an all you can eat breakfast buffet four miles down the trail and then only a few miles down a road. Seeing as I only had a short day planned to meet up again with my dad I figured, what is a few miles down the road?
I finally arrived at the Peaks of Otter lodge where the buffet was being held sweaty and ragged. I only walked five miles, but for some reason walking on the road really wore me out. I tried my best to clean myself up in the restroom, but I am pretty sure I still smelled like a wet yak. The hostess sat me in the middle of the room with a view out over a nice looking pond. For the next hour I gorged myself on pancakes, corn beef hash, eggs, sausage, orange juice, coffee and fruit.
When I waddled out of the lodge and back down the road I was sure I would be able to get a ride back to the trail with no problem. Maybe I had a pancake stuck to my beard or something because no one would look twice at me. Two hours later I arrived back to the trail drained from pounding the pavement another five miles. Sheesh, where's the southern hospitality?
Back on the trail my legs were much happier, even though I was walking steeply uphill on loose rocks my body still seemed to prefer it to the hard even pavement. I guess it had just gotten used the to rigors of trail walking. Six miles later I popped out of the woods again and then walked another mile and a half to the campground where my pops was waiting. So much for an easy day. I walked over twenty one miles because I let my stomach call the shots. Oh well, c'est la vie.
By the way, today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday pops, love you and I appreciate what you are doing for me more than I can say.