Mile Marker: 440.0
Miles Today: 16.1
Mile Marker: 440.0
This morning I had a nice hike down off the mountain I camped on last night. When I got to the bottom I saw a sign that said 0.10 miles to a hostel called Boots Off. Per the usual I decided to pop in for a soda. I got a red Mountain Dew. No idea what the flavor was, but the guys running the place were insistent it was the best. It was pretty good. I ran into Gabe and Galaxy there, who I haven't seen since the Smokies. They took a couple of extra days in Hot Springs for Gabe to heal up, but then Galaxy got sick and they were grounded another two days. It's kind of funny how the ebb and flow of the trail works.
After I left I ran into DaVinci the lake and caught up with him. Just as we were about to get started Blue Deer flagged us down from the top of the hill. Apparently 8 Track’s wife Kathy was set up with trail magic. She gave me a huge cup of sweet tea and made us scrambled eggs with cheese and a piece of well buttered toast with plum jam. Then a beer. Then some homemade peach brandy. Then a homemade rum and coke… 11:30 morphed into 1:30 amazingly quickly. Finally I pulled myself away and got back on the trail.
My advice is to always participate in day drinking when you can. Nothing beats a warm day sitting in the shade of a patio with a cocktail. Today I will add an asterisk to that recommendation.
*Unless you still have 13 miles left to hike in the heat.
Moments like today are all part of the experience of this grand adventure. I have no regrets spending part of the day hanging out and socializing. However when I was hiking back up into the mountains drenched in sweat, I did question the rum and coke. Still, no regrets.
My two hour detour meant I got into camp much later than I normally do. I could have stopped 2.5 miles earlier at a shelter with water, but I felt like I could make it. When I got to the campsite I found six other people there. Fedora and Hop Along, who I hadn't seen in a couple of weeks. I met Tin Cup (a different one) and Hot Tea. Cricket and Grasshopper were there too.
I was able to get my tent set up, dinner cooked, and water filtered just before dark. Turned out to be another excellent day on the trail.