Woke up this morning at 8 a.m.! The joys of sleeping in! I didn't sleep soundly in the hotel, I think I already miss the sounds of nature at night, the sooth and put you to sleep. Crazy how it is one adjustment to sleep in the woods and then another adjustment to sleep inside again. Too quiet almost. Can't wait to get back on the trail again.
Fall and Oats was going to take a zero today, he is still waiting for his gear to dry and hadn't had a rest day yet, I texted the group and considered a zero myself. I was feeling a bit lazy but longed to get out to the trail and explore town. What a conundrum. I hadn't heard from the group until they were on the move which was fine, I decided I would prefer to stay and hike out with Fall and Oats and check out town and enjoy a full day off and I could also resupply at the Dollar General down the street. Resupply is both great and a bummer, it is great to refill your food stash with up to date cravings you are having and new goodies, however, it makes your pack significantly heavier again and that first uphill out of a gap is always much tougher and slower going.
We got up and headed over for the continental breakfast, while there a friend from Instagram had seen a video I posted and asked if I was in Helen, I said yes and I asked where he was staying in Helen, he wrote the Super 8 (where we were) I looked up and there he was walking in to breakfast! "Sasquatch" I said! We hugged and I asked him to join us and another new hiker friend I made, Natalie who goes by Meme. She is from Alexandria, VA, close to home. We caught up a bit. Sasquatch and I had been following each other on Instagram and it was great to meet him in person. He is from California and Fall and Oats has been living in California. Sasquatch is hiking with his friends, Admiral Caboose, Ghost, Millie, his adorable pit bull and Kylie (trail name escapes me). I mentioned to everyone how much I would love to have a hiker russian roulette night of Karaoke where other hikers choose one hikers song and they would have to sing it, no matter the song or gender of vocalist. Hmm can we find Karaoke tonight?
I bought some more CHEESE! What can I say it is all I want right now, that and pepperoni. Fall and Oats bought a blow up float, yep! He was going to use this as an air mattress because up to this point he wasn't using one up until now. So he bought this bright pink blow up pool float. He can use it in the hammock or the tent and be a bit more comfortable as he was having some back issues in his hammock. This would allow him to lay in both with more comfort. Not to mention it was light weight. This was easier than getting to a gear store and having to buy a pad for $50. It is all about saving money on the trail and making do, this is part of where the term "hikertrash" comes from. Those who long distance hike, make do, we are temporarily homeless and we are not embarrassed to make do with what we have or what is around. We can often be found hoarding TP from local restaurants/motels, Mayonnaise, condiments of variations and digging through hiker boxes for goodies. Yep, like stray dogs and homeless, we are dirty, smelly, stinky but happy. Hikertrash is not a bad thing, as matter of fact we were this title proudly just as we do our smelly clothes, packs and the dirt in our fingers which just doesn't come out no matter how hard you try.
We toured around town and found a tubing and outdoor recreation center and a park along the flowing river. It was a beautiful day, highs in the 60's and sunny. What a change from yesterday. We also found a quaint Main Stream Market with Canned and pickled everything. Special variations of foods and honeys and butters I have never even heard of. Fall and Oats is from Alabama so he was more familiar and introduced me to several samplings. I loved this place and if I could package the whole store and ship it home to Maryland I would be quite happy. Why don't we have great things like this? I found my first bottle of Muscadine here. I never heard of that before either. Boiled Peanuts where a favorite of many on the trail so Fall and Oats ordered some up. I tried them, I wasn't a big fan, but maybe with some flavoring they would be better. They are a hit in the south. I ordered some butter's and honeys and shipped them home because the last thing I wanted to do was carry more.
We hit a homemade candy store next, just for fun we took a stroll thing, oddly enough, candy is not what I am craving at all and I escaped without purchase. I am loosing weight quickly out here and gaining more muscle than I could have imagined in my legs, they feel like steel drums attached to my hips. I love it.
We continued on and just enjoyed the day before heading to a Mexican place for lunch. After we headed back to the hotel and I jumped in the Jacuzzi and my feet thanked me, my blisters were worse and it felt good to massage them with the jets. I must have stayed in there an hour. I showered/bathed more in this 24 hours than I have in the last week.
We watched some funny old tv shows, like the Andy Griffith show and introduced each other to music neither had heard of. He has some interesting tunes and some fun sing along old familiar songs. Fall and Oats likes the oldies and old shows, it was fun. He desperately wanted to see some old good cartoons, his favorite being Rocky and Bullwinkle but no luck.
We were going to meet up with Sasquatch, Natalie and Admiral Caboose tonight for dinner and beers back at the place we loved the night before, Big Daddy's. We had a great meal again! So much food for a great price. Fall and Oats ordered a monsterous chicken sandwich he couldn't really fit in his mouth but tried to anyway. It was entertaining. I ordered wings, Natalie had already eaten so just had something small and Sasquatch and Admiral ordered up some good eats too.
We headed back to our place for more beers and were going to go for a swim in the heated pool but it sadly wasn't warm and the temps out were rather cold. So we ditched that idea instead and went back to the room, jacuzzi soak for all weary hikers. Another great day out here with great company.
Photo cred: Fall and Oats