May 15 - Atkins, VA (542.2)

- Hiker Burger from The Barn
We get up to rain coming down hard and weather reports of sustained rains, sometimes heavy and with thunderstorms possible, throughout the day. We are both ready, almost anxious to go at 7, but decide to hold off an hour to see if the local conditions improve. We talk and talk, even flip a coin, but finally decide to stay another day and start again tomorrow.

We ask to switch rooms to be closer to the centrally located office to hopefully get better wireless reception. They do move us, and the reception is better but only on one side of the room. It's a long day, not much to do, and the rain is relatively light until later in the afternoon and early evening, when it gets quite heavy.

We head to The Barn for lunch, which offers a one pound Angus Hiker Burger for $7. There are eight or so hikers here waiting on a shuttle to Damascus for Trail Days, which starts tomorrow.

Yesterday we watched the first Matrix movie, today it's the third Matrix and the first Shrek. We pack up and get ready for tomorrow.

Since there's not much news, here's some hiker info:

Hikers Box, aka Food Box: these are common in hiker hostels, outfitters, hiker friendly motels, and the like. Hikers inevitably end up with too much of something, so they place the extra in these boxes to be shared with other hikers that might need it. Food is the most common item, but there can be stove fuel, plastic storage bags, band aids and anything else. Some is just wrong, like nearly empty peanut butter jars or home packed mystery food.

There was one hiker early on at Neel Gap who went to the adjacent outfitter, and bought 10 Mountain House freeze dried dinners (at about $8 each), walked into the hostel, saw "food box", and thought he was supposed to put his food in it. Drops all the Mountain House dinners in there, wanders off, and other hikers arrive perplexed but pleased with the generosity. The original hiker realizing his mistake, tries to get his money back from the outfitter, and the manager said, "no, sorry, but you did just learn a valuable lesson."


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