My next day was a great hiking day! The fog lifted and the sun even came out for a bit! My mood greatly improved.
There was one treacherous climb that reminded me a lot of New Hampshire. I think it was called Albert Mountain. When I got to the road before it, there was a car with a lady talking to the people inside. They called me over and asked if I wanted some coffee or soda. I smiled and said, “SURE!” They told me I would need it before climbing the next mountain.
The lady talking to them was Used Croc. I had heard of her. She is a friend of Mousy’s and has apparently walked across America. I found out later that she has done some missionary work in Honduras, and her walk is a missionary trip of sorts. She believes it’s something God has called her I do.
I don’t usually study the mountains ahead of me. I don’t want to know, nor be filled with dread of what is ahead. This was apparently a big one because the couple warned us to take it slow. Used Croc took off, but I passed her on the way up the mountain. The views on this day were gorgeous!
I was walking really fast when the path leveled out, and I realized that my feet and legs were hurting like they did on my last hike. I would stop and stretch once in a while, but it really drove home the fact that taking it a little easier and slower is less stress on my body.
Things were really clearing off, and the air was much drier, so I stopped at a shelter to heat up my lunch and dry my tent. The shelter I was going to stop at for the night was only 3 miles away. What a nice diversion that was, and the break really helped my legs and feet.
I forged on to next shelter, and there were two men there. Cado (short for avocado) and Special Ed. Ed teaches Special Ed and his real name is Ed. His trail name is my favorite so far.
When I told them I was Rebound, they both smiled and said they had heard about me. I asked if it was good or bad, and they emphatically said it was all good. This happened again the next day with different people. The Hiker Grapevine is a real thing, but I am shocked that I am in it!
For those of you who have prayed for me, thank you. I have been doing better talking to people. That I am in the Hiker Grapevine proves it. On my last hike, hardly anyone knew who I was. I was a woman on a mission and didn’t socialize much. I have taken Raid and her husband’s advice and I am trying to ‘reach out’ more. If things seem off, I’m taking Bob Wiley’s advice. “Sometimes you get a bad connection. Just hang up the phone and try again.”
I had a very nice supper that night at the shelter with Used Croc, No Trix, Oops, Foxy and Special Ed (who really is special-seems like one of those teachers for whom their vocation is a calling, rather than a job. Kids need those kinds of teachers these days. Bud is also one of those kinds of teachers. I have the utmost respect for these kinds of teachers.) I enjoyed talking with everyone. After Inwasnin my tent, I heard Woody’s voice. I was so glad to hear him. He had gotten off trail due to being sick, and no one knew if he was coming back on. I said hey through my tent and old him I was glad he was back on the trail. He came over and we talked for a bit. The his is one sport where you cheer when you find out someone is still in the game!
I hit the hay early, knowing I had to hike 3.7 miles to catch the shuttle into town. There weren’t many tent sites and the one I chose was not level. I spent every hour or two scooting my sleeping pad up, and blowing it up.
Two cool things happened during the night. I woke up at one point to an owl hooting, “WhoCooksForYou!” There must have been 5 or 6 different owls answering one another, because the calls were all different pitches, but all hooting, “WhoCooksForYou!” I can’t remember which species does that call, but I learned about it at a talk in a State Park Bud and I stayed at one time.
Later I heard a pack of coyotes howling. That is always very cool, too. It’s haunting. It’s something you will never forget. We hear them at home sometimes.
I got up bright and early and was eating my oatmeal before the sun was up. I had to start hiking at 7:00.
I am in Franklin, NC. It’s a hiker friendly town. I rode the shuttle to Walmart with French Toast and Bear Box. Very sweet girls. They invited me to Supper, but I was so tired, I just wanted to crawl in bed for the night(after the taking my second shower of the day, of course.)
I went to the Hiker pancake breakfast at the Baptist church this morning. It was free and they were so nice! They took our picture and printed it, and provided a notecard and envelope. They are going to mail our notes, along with our picture to our loved ones.
Today is my Birthday. I’m taking a zero here in honor of my day. Also to avoid bad weather. Bud paid for me to have a motel room all to myself. I can spread out on the bed like I am making a snow angel, and I can take as many showers as I want, for as long as I want. I have had a glorious introvert party watching the Weather Channel on TV. Made myself some coffee on my little stove before the pancake breakfast, then treated myself to Mexican Food for lunch.
I also wanted to let you all know that my knee has not been hurting as bad the past few days!
Thank you all for your patience, your interest and your prayers. I appreciate it very much!
Until next time….