Day 24, April 3rd

Today I’m taking an unplanned zero day; thanks, in part, to the United States Postal Service.

If you read yesterday’s post, you recall that I arrived to the Fontana Resort to pick up a package that hadn’t arrived, yet.  When I updated my tracking information yesterday afternoon, it changed to reflect a delivery date of today, while still indicating it was “on time.”

Oh well, I figured, there probably isn’t anything I can do about it.  I should probably just enjoy the downtime. 

I decided to have an early breakfast and then hang out in the lobby for a bit.  The wifi was much better there than in the room, so it seemed logical.  I asked the front desk attendant to please verify delivery times for USPS and was again told any time between 1:00 – 4:00.  Swell.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “Self, why is Boomer calling today an unplanned zero day if, in fact, he may very well receive his package at 1:00?”

Doesn’t that leave plenty of time for hiking?  It does, indeed.  However, upon my arrival to a very comfortable armchair in the lobby, my initial task was to check for any updates in the status of my package.  Maybe it had magically made it to the lodge overnight.  Who knows?  Alas, the post office has not only inserted the knife in my back, now they’ve twisted it.

  

You’ve got to be kidding me.  Another day?  This is getting old.  Ridiculous, even.  Notice how the service purchased was two-day shipping and it left on the 31st.  It should have been here yesterday, now it’s scheduled for delivery TOMORROW, and they have the audacity to claim it’s ON TIME!  The folks in the USPS tracking department have some serious kinks to work out.

With nothing better to do, I went to the front desk to see what all the wonderful village had to offer in the ways of entertainment and fun.  Not.  Much.

Because it was still early in the year, the pools and such weren’t open.  There were lake tours offered for insane amounts of money.  I could rent a pontoon boat for eight hours for $330.  They don’t have a skydiving department here.  I was left with two choices: miniature golf or disc golf.

Both options required renting gear from the general store at the bottom of the hill.  As luck would have it, we passed the miniature golf course on the way to the store.  For those reading this from Albemarle, the course here makes the Good-O look like Augusta National.  Pass.

Down the hill we went to secure our disc golf gear.  The lady in the general store was incredibly nice.  She gave us the gear for free, didn’t charge us for ice under which a six pack of Howard Brewing’s Lake Fever Black IPA would ride, and even gave us a ride back up the hill to the first tee.  Silver lining.

It took a few holes to work out the bugs, but finally I was having a good time.  I figured at least walking 18 holes would keep my legs loose for the hiking I was hoping to do, sometime within the next year or two, depending on the post office.  I was playing with a guy I’d met on the trail named Forrest.  Like myself, not a trail name.  When it came to working out the bugs, Forrest would have been better off calling Dale Gribble.  Oh well, we had a good time.  We ended up skipping a few holes to lessen the embarrassment.

  

6’12” made it to the lodge around 6:00 today.  We had dinner and discussed the plan for the next few days.  I wanted to try to get through the smokies in five days.  He agreed.  As it turns out, his mom reads my blog and called to reprimand him for his bout of depression and lack of motivation.  Apparently it worked.  He did 14 miles today to catch up.

I decided to check the tracking information, yet again.  Upon doing so, I discovered the package had been delivered to Robbinsville, NC, this afternoon.  Outraged, I called the front desk hoping that it was a mistake and my package was in Fontana Village.  The lady at the front desk assured me my package had arrived, now a day earlier than expected.  I should be happy.  It means I don’t have to wait around for it tomorrow.  However, I can’t help but think that if the USPS’s website had been accurate, I wouldn’t have wasted the day playing disc golf.  I could have been on my way a few hours ago.

I guess that’s just the way it goes.  I gave away two of my beers at dinner, had a good meal, and called it a night.  At least I know I can start tomorrow early and get a decent jump on the smokies.

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