Well… today I could have done 16! But because I reserved at Shaws for Wednesday night rather than Tuesday, and there’s no phone service, I have to slow my roll to short miles even when I can do bigger ones because the trail’s nice. Murphy’s law! Or Catch 22 or something. The law of oppositeness.
The trail was nice today. 🙂 Frogs +1.
At the hostel I met two hikers I’d met back in Erwin at Uncle Johnny’s. The guy is Captain Insano, and I forget his partner’s trail name. There’s a funny story I never mentioned because it was awkward, but Captain Insano and I had a laugh about it today, so it feels alright to share now.
So. There’s a group of hikers called the Wounded Warriors. It’s a nonprofit that sponsors a number of combat veterans who are thru-hiking to reacclimate and heal. (You can google them for more information.) At Uncle Johnny’s in Erwin, the group was interviewed by the local paper. It was pretty chaotic—cameras, newspaper staff, hostel staff, reporters, the WW group, a ton of other hikers. I tried to stay out of the way while I sorted out my resupply. So I was in the corner, like, hiding, and splitting my food up by days. I tiptoed out to put the box in the recycling, and when I came back, a hiker was poking through my resupply and taking things. I was shocked—and a little irritated, because I thought it was a jerk hiker. (Hard to believe, but they exist!) It was Captain Insano. He was so sweet and apologetic and embarrassed, and it was clear instantly that it was just a weird mistake—like, he’s there being interviewed! The Luna bars all laid out like that did look like some sort of a freebie situation! 😄 So we laughed, and I felt bad and he felt bad, and I wasn’t sure he was entirely over his embarrassment, so I was so glad to run into him today. Super nice guy. He said he’s having a great hike. I hope it’s been everything he was looking for. And best of luck to all the other veterans involved with the project.
What else? Saw Little Blade today. She was hiking with the vets. That wolfpack of hikers I mentioned a couple of days ago are all 18 and 19. There’s one 20-year-old; they call him the old man. 😆
Like the fabulous art of decorating resupply boxes, the post-hike poscards have gone the way of the dodo. So many traditions, gone—and that’s just in six short years. I haven’t decided if I’ll do postcards. Depends on my finishing photo, lol.
Rain tonight. I think I’m in an OK spot. I was supposed to hit my first ford today, but it was a rock hop. Tomorrow, though, there’s at least one, maybe two. Even with the rain tonight, they should be fine. It’s not like the PCT. And every stream I’ve remembered has been substantially lower than in 2013.
So, I have 3 days to do 26 miles. Then a zero. Shit. 😁 Of course, Maine can get Mainey in the blink of an eye.
I’ve gained some weight back with the recent zeroes. These scales are all seriously old and busted anyway.