(Elmer’s Sunnybank Inn)
I had paid Elmer the night before, so I was free to leave whenever I wanted. There was a trail family (People who meet on the trail, hit it off, group up, and hike as a group) that was staying there and they were afraid to speak above a whisper. I saw Ripley and he said he had heard not to bother Elmer to check out while he was cooking! Later that day on the trail, I thought about the scared look on Ripley’s face as he was telling me that and I laughed so hard I was crying! As I walked through the kitchen, I thanked Elmer and told him I enjoyed my stay. (Because he offered me a sincere apology, owned up to his mistake, and offered to pay my bill, I wanted to extend him Grace. It’s the way I would hope someone would treat me if I had done the same thing.) He barely looked at me and grunted. Didn’t say anything. The helper and I exchanged pleasant goodbyes.
It had, indeed snowed and stuck to the ground, but it really was not all that cold! I had a bad climb out of Hot Springs, but my legs were somewhat rested and I was more than ready to get out of Hot Springs!
i missed this section in 2016. We were routed around it due to wildfires. I’m glad I got to hike it this year because it is gorgeous!
I took a leisurely pace that day because I only had 11 miles to the shelter. I’m finding that my legs don’t hurt as bad when I don’t take long, hard strides and I don’t push my pace. I had a nice tent Spot on a hill above the shelter. I found I had cell service. I was surprised, since I didn’t have cell service in Hot Springs. I got to talk to Bud for the first time since the Elmer Incident.
I got up before the sun was up, and when I went to get my food bag off the bear cables, I could see a city off in the distance. That is why I had cell service. Most people have service when they get to high altitudes, but that is no help for me.
I have met a lot of people. I’m doing better at socializing, I recognize people and they recognize me. I’m reluctant to talk about people on my blog. I’ve pretty much determined that I like hiking alone during the day. With a hiking partner, you have to coordinate when you are leaving, when you stop each day, when you take a Zero, etc. I think I have been in a bubble and it has been tent city! I’m peopled-out. I’m trying to make an effort to have supper at the table at the shelter in the evenings, and talk to people at hostels. That is enough for me.
(View from the privy while taking care of business!)
I did two 16 mile days in succession. It turned cold, with wind, which has been brutal. Last night I could not get warm! I wasn’t really warm in my sleeping bag (plus Mylar and rain gear) but I didn’t want to get out because I knew I would be worse! The water in my bottles had ice in it, and there was frost on my tent. I didn’t start hiking until 8:30 or 9:00. It took about 30 minutes of hiking before I could feel my fingers and toes. My lips were hurting as I started hiking in the cold wind. I had another cry, knowing the next night was to be just as cold.
When I got to Sam’s Gap, I saw a hiker being dropped off. I went up to the driver and asked if she was the Hostel Lady. She said she was, and when I asked if she had room, she said yes. So I apologized for smelling like a bag lady and got in the car.
Bud has offered to drive up and take me home for a week to hopefully let the bad, cold weather pass, but I’m afraid I won’t want to come back! I haven’t made my decision yet. I’m always worried about running out of time to finish the trail. I am not handling the physical aspect of the trail as well as last time and I spend a lot of time looking forward to getting a shower and chance to do laundry! Being dirty and stinky is the hardest part of hiking the trail. I love camping in my tent at night when it’s not freezing!
That’s where things stand for right now!