AT Day 031: Monday May 8, 2023

Mile 453.5 + 0 miles / km

Total Distance Hiked: 453.5 miles /730  km

Dancing Bear Inn, Damascus, Virginia

A: 0 ft /0 m   D:0 ft / 0 m

We are feeling so comforted staying here at the Dancing Bear Inn. The front of the house is guests accomodation and the owners live in the back half of the house. Separated but close enough should you need anything. 

I woke in a comfortable bed to the sound of birds chirping outside. It was so nice to walk down carpeted stairs in my bare feet, make a cup of coffee in a coffee machine, grab a biscuit from the plentiful tray and come back to bed to enjoy, while the morning unfolded. For me,  this was total luxury. I was clean, warm and sitting up in bed enjoying a cup of coffee; nothing hurt and we had a day of freedom in front of us. No rush to break camp and make some miles.

Hammer had a long sleep-in, while I sipped my coffee and caught up on social media stuff. 

It was almost 10am when we ventured outside and went to breakfast at a relatively new place in town Mojo’s Trailside Cafe.

We enjoyed a terrific breakfast burrito, just what I’ve been craving. Hammer was happy to have whatever they offered. His banana milkshake was very nice, so he told me. We met another couple of hikers whom we have seen on trail at three or four times, just to say hello and pass by. It was nice to stop and chat to them after we finished breakfast. They were a retired couple from New Hampshire with trail names ‘Scarecrow’ and ‘Violet’. It was lovely to learn a bit more about them and to share our experiences of this trail over the past few weeks. Hope we meet up again.

After breakfast it was a leisurely stroll to the outfitters to get new shoes for me and a new dry sack for my sleeping bag. I’ve changed from my favourite hiking and trail running shoes, the Salomon Speedcross to Altra Lone Peak for this hike. So far I’ve been happy with their performance.  

Hammer is still wearing the Keen Targhee II he’s worn on the previous long hikes.  No foot issues at all for either of us. 

We spent the rest of the day resting our legs before going out to an early dinner. I was ready for the belated Cinco de Mayo margarita but sadly the Damascus Diner did not offer them. We had a terrific Santa Fe  salad, which we probably should have doubled up on.  We shared an early dinner with another couple of hikers whom we first met at Erwin, Jurgen and the Guru. Their friend Fabian had already gone back to Germany. A lovely social evening and we are now fully ready to head to back on trail before the comforts of the  town vortex pulls us in further.