Oh boy. What a day. Today we ground out 22miles, our longest yet of the trail. The Time Travelers (Mr, Kool Aid, Savage, and Cool Dad) passed their resupply point and ran out food. Cool Dad left camp at sunrise to push on ahead. We found a note outlining his plan: 1:30pm. Hiking ahead to get food. Meet at Winding Stair Gap.
We pooled our resources and shared what food we had to get everyone through the day. We finished the hike just at sunset coming into the parking lot. Cool Dad rolled up moments later in a Jeep Rubicon with fresh food, wine, and a good story.
Dave is an older gentleman that spends his time helping hikers. Today, his first shuttle run began at 7am. It’s now 8:30pm as he drops off Cool Dad with food to get us through the night. What a long day! Thanks for everything Dave.
I emerged from the wood to see an old man standing beside a Jeep Wrangler. “Son, are you a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail? Do you need a ride into town?” –Cool Dad telling the story of meeting Dave.
Not long after Dave left, a group of day hikers came out of the woods. One of the girls leaves in a few weeks to thru-hike the trail and passed on some trail magic: beer. We spent some time talking before it was time to hit the sack. Hiker midnight is 9pm. Thanks girls! Good luck on your adventure.
For camp, we just pitched our tents in the grass alongside the highway. I’ve camped like this so many times on my bike travels. The sounds of the highway made me feel at home again. The others weren’t so sure at first and began hiking back up the mountain to a campsite. A few minutes climbing after such a long day, they quickly changed their minds agreeing to camp in the grass.
Loudspeakers announce arriving and departing aircraft, first in Spanish then in English. Electronic boards convey the same information in an easier to understand form. I am in the El Salvador (5th and final country of the trip!) International airport returning from the bathroom. I’m still a little sick.
A chubby latino boy, returning home with his family from a visit with relatives, waddles up to me with a curios twinkle in his eye. “Gee mister,” he says with a hint of southern drawl. “You sure have a lot of stuff.”
“I do?” I say scrunching my face perplexed.
“You sure do! Stuff’s hanging all over you.” I think back to the reflection in the bathroom mirror. Two yellow bags, each nearly the size of my torso, hang on each side and are stuffed to overflowing. Another yellow bag from my handle-bar hangs around my neck. A small black backpack clings to my back. Continue reading →