Saturday, June 11, 2016

Day 44-46: Trailfest

Miles: 0

I had no intention of staying in Daleville for 3 days but sometimes these things just seem to fall into place. I didn't go to trail days which was the big hiker festival back in Damascus earlier in the hike. But there are smaller events throughout the trail. I'd been seeing fliers for a Trailfest in Troutville and getting into town Thursday set me up to enjoy Friday and Saturdays events if I felt like it. Troutville and Daleville are sister cities right on the trail. I was hot and tired heading into town and figured the first spot I saw was perfect which is how I found myself in Daleville along with a ton of other hikers. The actual Trailfest was a few miles away a little off trail in the Troutville city park with free camping and more hikers.

Friday morning was about sleeping and recovery and finding out more about Trailfest. It turns out all the big stuff was planned for Saturday so my one zero was starting to look like two.

Our neighbors dog made himself at home. It was fun having dogs around.

Stopping in at the gear store I swapped out my shorts. I guess the constant sweating is wreaking havoc on my inseam and I figured taking advantage of a gear shop was smarter than flashing everyone on the trail in a week or two.

It was dark and stormy making it easier to rationalize hotel versus park camping. The rumored shuttles were nonexistent Friday night but the gear shop drove us over to the town hall where some local church groups had made dinner for the hikers. It was incredibly sweet and at least 40 people were around. Back at the hotel we all made plans to try to enjoy Saturday's festivities.

Saturday morning we grabbed the previously imaginary shuttle and headed over to the park. The local boy scouts made a pancake breakfast and more familiar hiker faces kept appearing.

There were tents but not too many vendors and the turnout seemed a little lackluster. But we found out that a local company was sponsoring free tubing trips and 14 of us jumped on a shuttle and took full advantage. The rest of the photos are thanks to Pie who braved the river with her phone.

It was easily the best part of the day. They even gave us a second free run up the river and then right as the thunder started rumbling we hopped on the shuttle and headed back to the park. It poured and the vendors all started packing up early but that meant free barbecue and making friends hovering under tent canopies.

Getting back to town was a hassle because the shuttles had become imaginary again. We heard a bit more about the planning and struggles the festival has had over the last few years. It's a great idea but is definitely still working out some kinks.

It shouldn't be exhausting hanging out all day but I've done zero camp chores and decide Sunday will be dedicated to the odds and ends I've been ignoring. I sew my pack straps which have started to fray, do laundry and finally resupply. It's relaxing and I'm finally feeling more than ready to head back out. It was fun but it was a lot of people time and I'm missing hiking.

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