The last time I walked into a hotel with just a backpack on me was in India or Greece with my sister Sal over a decade ago. So it was a bit of deja vu to do so in Hiawassee, GA. It was our second zero day, the first being my birthday, and that first zero day was such a flurry of activity due to gear shopping atop all else that it wasn’t very restful at all – other than our friends carting us around, which was nicer than having to drive! In Hiawassee, we tried to relax a little. We ordered dinner in on the first night, soaked a little in the hot tub, and slept in for two days in a row in a puffy soft bed. But we still had to walk all over to shop, eat, and take care of business. A lot to cram into a day.
My friend Gutsy said it best: “If you’re going to take a zero, lie in bed all day, put your feet up, and read a book!” So far, we haven’t taken the time for that. I’m writing these blog posts when we get into a town, John’s compressing toilet paper off a roll. we’re packing up groceries and figuring out mileages and camping for the upcoming week. Zero days never mean zero effort. They’re still a lot of work, even if the work is mental rather than muscular. But they are a welcome break from the routine of hiking.