Days since I began my thruhike: 193

Lauren prepared a nice breakfast as part of the price for the bunk. She made waffles with butter, syrup and fresh strawberries, OJ, and coffee. I filled up and then Low Gear arrived. We stopped by the ATC headquarters again and then headed to Silver Spring, possibly into the storm. I hope this is a good choice, and I believe it is. We stopped by Walmart to do our hiker resupply then we went to Low Gear's local grocery and bagel shops.

We arrived at his house, met his son, Alex, and his wife, Debbie, again (the last time was at the base of Mt Katahdin) and ate lunch. We decided at 2pm to go to the Smithsonian today, knowing the hurricane could affect our chances of going any other day. Low Gear took us to the Metro station and we made our way to the National Mall. We arrived close to 4pm and had one and a half hours to explore. The clouds hung dark, wind gusts blew dead leaves around, and a light, misty rain began to fall. We hurried and saw parts of the Natural History Museum and the American History Museum. I loved it and hope to go back and explore more of the buildings another day.

We took the metro home in the dark as the rain increased, and Low Gear and Debbie made us an awesome spaghetti meal with salad and garlic bread. It was fantastic food and great company. I watched the Weather Channel a little, just as I would have back in Utah. Big storms excite me. I could be a storm chaser. Now I am possibly about to be in the storm. I think being a backpacker makes me better prepared if the power does go out. I have gear and experience functioning without electricity, at least for a few days. Here's hoping it won't be very bad after all this buildup.