It had been 4-5 days since I’d had a shower. I smelled like pee, BO, and sweat. I was irritable because since it has been warmer, my legs stick together at night when I’m trying to sleep. I was more than ready for a shower. To add insult to injury, there were rumors that it was going to rain. I wanted to get to the hostel as quickly as possible. I can’t remember how many miles I had to go, because I lost my journal, but I think it it was around 13-15 miles. My plan was to just stay overnight at the hostel and then head out.
I woke up before daylight and ate in the semi darkness. When I finally got out of my tent, the hikers I thought I had heard the night before were not there and no tents were there either. I went down the trail to dig a cat hole, and I saw two food bags hanging in the tree. The only thing I can figure is that they packed up and stayed in the shelter down the way. I never heard them do it.
Nothing lights a fire under a Thru-Hiker like the thought of real food or a shower. I was down the trail before the sun was properly risen and going at a nice clip. I saw this nice, new bench but didn’t sit down. I did admire the view, though.
…and these other cool looking plants. If I had a book to identify these plants, it would probably be too heavy to take, and I would be in too much of a hurry to look it up, so I’m just going to admire them and take pictures.
I made it to Black Bear Resort before the rain. Bud knew how exhausted I had been, and knew I needed a good nights rest. Bunk rooms can often be uncomfortable and noisy, with no privacy. Bud gave me a nice treat and reserved a little cabin for me so I could enjoy a good night’s sleep. I love cute little cabins.
The showers there were awesome! It usually takes at least 20 minutes worth of hot water plus double and triple soapings and shampoos before a hiker feels clean. Plenty of hot water is the marker of a really great shower. Bonus points to this place for having shampoo, conditioner AND nice smelling body wash. If that wasn’t enough, they were clean and the towels were thick and fluffy. ☺️
The whole place had cute, rustic decor, with triple points for being neat and clean!
It also had a Creek running beside it. If it hadn’t been so cool, I would have taken a dip! They also have a camp store with hiker resupply items, snacks, sodas and microwave foods and pizza.
I had the cabin all to myself.The rain finally came pouring down after dark and I fell soundly asleep to the sound of the rain on the in roof.
There was a hiker named Cowbell, and he looks an awful lot like Will Ferrell in the Saturday Night Live ‘More Cowbell!’ Skit, so I’m guessing that is how he got his name. I first met him at Nature’s Inn Hostel. He is very friendly. His son, a former thru hiker, was staying in a Cabin with him. They were cooking burgers in the Little courtyard. I was apparently tearing across the courtyard and Cowbell started belly laughing and said, “REBOUND! Why are you walking so FAST?!? 😳 I can’t help it. It’s my natural speed. I’ve always been a fast walker; maybe because I have short legs.
I got wind that there were some hikers slack-packing for a very cheap rate. There is a long stretch of trail after the hostel where you cannot camp because there has been ‘bear activity’. I could either do a really short hike or a really long hike to work around it. I thought that if I slack-packed a section it would set me up nicely to work around that section where there was bear activity. Because there were 3 other ladies doing it, it only cost me about $4 to be dropped off to hike back to the hostel, and the same amount to be dropped off there the next day. I would be able to take a shower that night, too. I decided to move into the bunkhouse for that night to save money.
Slack-packing is when you empty your pack of almost everything but what you might need on a day hike. You can go much faster, it is much easier and less taxing on your body.
It was supposed to rain some more, so I wanted to get it done quickly. Sometimes, going up with he backside of a mountain is much easier, as was the case this time.
It was a gorgeous section!
When I got near the end of the hike, I fell on the rocks and bent my trekking pole. Thankfully I was okay, but my trekking pole was bent at a right angle-not even useable.
I contacted Bud and started making plans for him to send me a new one. I got back to the hostel right before it started to rain. The other ladies were not so lucky. Cowbell had also moved into the bunkroom, and he was a snorer. Thankfully I had ordered some size small earplugs, which I used and I slept quite well.
Before I left the hostel the next morning, I saw a single trekking pole by the door. I asked the hostel owner if that had just been left there, and she told me no, that belonged to her mother. My heart sank, because hikers become very dependent upon their trekking poles. I wasn’t looking forward for to hiking to Damascus with one pole. I told the lady I had broken my pole the day before. She then took me to a closet and pulled out a single trekking pole that was the same Walmart brand that I used, with only slight differences…and it’s red instead of blue. I gave out a ‘WooHoo!’ and thanked her profusely! I told her it felt like Christmas in May!
I was shuttled to our drop off point and I was on my way!