Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 13

I tossed and turned and wasn't feeling great overnight, I was starting with what I could tell was going to be more than just a head cold. Most of camp was still a sleep. We slowly got up and got to breaking down camp. Fall and Oats went to grab us some water while I worked on packing up the inside of the tent, we had this team work thing down. It made life much simpler sharing the duties that otherwise when I was hiking alone would take longer. Fall ate some breakfast with the group,at the fire ring and I worked on filtering some water into my Platypus so I could add some Gatorade and for an extra punch of sugar to get me going I also added some raspberry propel, YUM. We drink so much out here, just water gets boring and you need the sugar and calories.

I told Fall and Oats I wasn't well and I would need to go back to Deep Gap, since it was my easiest way off the trail and I really needed to be getting back to Maryland and it was going to be tough enough to make arrangements from Franklin I could not be on the trail another night as much as I would like to. He volunteered to go with me and double back miles over Standing Indian to the Gap if we could find a ride. Things are never certain out there, but you just move forward and have faith things will work out or you just wing it. Not knowing if we could get a ride from Deep Gap, we knew it looked like a better choice than other places. It was just a matter if anyone would be coming today to that area on the forest service road.

I spoke to some section hikers who agreed that was my best bet since coming from the other direction. We would have had 20 to 26 miles otherwise and more than a days hike. We met up with the boy scouts we had heard about at the shelter they were also heading in that direction and said if they had room they would give us a ride. It didn't sound promising though and they didn't seem to eager to help. We started our climb almost immediately back over the 5,000 foot mountain that would take some time as it was a few miles long. When we got to Standing Indian Mountain because of a clearing and elevation I was able to get a small signal between trees. This is like those commercials "can you hear me now" that is IF the call ever goes through. Well it did and I was able to get a shuttle to come for $50. Shuttles are not cheap. When we got the gap our ride was there and so were three other hikers ready to share it with us, Tiger Djin, Tang and Muscadine. Three super nice guys also going into town and hikers. Tiger Djin is from Chicago and Tang and Muscadine are both from North Carolina. We were dropped at Ron Haven's Budget Inn, OH WHAT a place!

Last major white blaze I saw or noticed before the gap while shedding some tears of sadness to leave the trail, my friends and trail family. What an amazing time! I will be back!






Me, Muscadine and Tang enjoying our ride into town

Tang dancing with the poor mans speaker at the Budget



No words


They only had two rooms left, perfect for the five of us. We unloaded our gear and the first thing I wanted and saw was a COKE, I can't explain the joy of this when I don't normally drink soda, but on the trail there is just something so new and good about it. Very refreshing, literally is the best drink for me when coming to town. Apparently we got lucky on our room it was one of the nicer ones. It didn't have a lot of mold growing we had sheets with wholes in them but no dirt in them. YUP, now I think you are getting the idea of where the word Hikertrash comes from. We are like hobos of the trail, trying to save money because we are essentially homeless, me only for a few weeks but most thru hikers are homeless and have to make their money stretch for 4-6 months. This teaches so many things, but most of all how to appreciate everything life has to offer and yet we still come away knowing that any bad day on the trail is still better than a day in normal life. Crazy as that may sound, it is so true. You would have to try living it to understand.

Today was turning out to be another great day. I caught up with Brett and Adam who were rooming next to  for the night. Hung out with Tiger Djin, Tang and Muscadine who graciously shared beers and pizza from Vinnie's.  Doug Prime and Wild Turkey showed up too. We did laundry and relaxed as I tried to find arrangements to get home, but most of everything was closed so I was going to have to put this on hold until tomorrow. Later we were visited by Brett who dropped some more pizza to us, everyone is so gracious out here. We shared beers and music and good times and I topped the night off with sitting in Fall and Oats hammock outside my dirty hotel room with my beer and pizza and quickly fell a sleep for a bit.

Best rest spot all night, Fell a sleep right here

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