Waking up in a bed was great, we walked up to the store and got coffee, tea, juice, and Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches and brought them back to our cabin eating breakfast on the back deck. After packing everything up and getting ready to head out we stopped at the store so some of us could resupply or get things we needed. I ended up getting a knee brace (since I was borrowing Nick's) a cute journal to start writing in, more Moleskin, a Nalgene for my cooking water, a small block of pepperjack cheese, and a small container of Pringles. I killed the Pringles outside, and saved the cheese for along the trail. Today was one of my tougher days, my knees and feet hurt as usual but I also felt just overall exhausted–I went through 3L in my Camelbak when the past days I only had 2L and that was empty by reaching camp, today I put 3L from the cabin sink and was out before the end of the day. I hiked with my ipod, Ryan, and Puzzle the guys being ahead of me so I could take my time. We met up with Nick at a couple look outs and took some photos. After getting to Hogpen Gap where Ryan and I's day would end so we could hitch into Helen, we saw that Lynn, Nick, and Dexter were there as well. Ryan was happy to get to say goodbye (for now at least.) We made plans that I will see where they are at tomorrow or scheduled to be the following day and I will meet up with them, they all think I should go ahead a bit and nurse my knee and feet and meet up with them. I am still on the fence, Ryan has to head to his friend's tomorrow so it is now nearing 12:00am about 3 hours past my hiker bedtime so we will see what I end up doing. Back to earlier though, Jim from back in Dahlonega (Pizza Hut) told us to just give him a call and he would bring us to Helen, Ryan called him on the trail and he said he could get us at Hogpen at 6:00, we ended up getting there around 4:00 and a shuttle that runs from gap to gap 24/7 said he could take us now. Even better! Ryan and I hopped in the cab of his pickup and we wound left and right down the mountains of Georgia. After about 15 minutes (by car of course) we reached the town of Helen once again; though this time it was the cutest little town ever, it was all themed in German and the buildings were all so cute. (when we drove into the hotel it was from the other direction since we came right off the highway) We decided then that we would check out this peculiar town of Helen, GA. We got back to the Best Western, got a room and to our surprise it was the same 116 as before we started the trail! We showered and put on civilian clothes as I like to call them and headed into Helen. We ate at a grill called Hogpen Gap (how fitting) and both had a burger with a fried egg, bacon, tomato jelly (stewed tomatoes and onions) fresh potato chips, and a pickle and ATE. IT. ALL. So good. I had a Shocktop and Ryan had some other beer haha. After enjoying our dinner we walked around and checked out what the town had to offer, Ryan wanted flip flops to walk around in, we checked all of the tourist junk shops, a glass blowing shop, bought souvenir shot glasses, and got some drinks at the beer garden where we also played corn hole. It is such a fun little kitsch town. Oh and there were two bunnies just...hopping around. Totally normal? After leaving the little downtown area we headed back up towards the hotel in search of mini golf next to the hotel, but first we stopped in this little shop that had all kinds of homemade honey, jams, jellies, pickled vegetables, and antique/yard sale type of items. The older gentleman running the place was a great guy, veteran, and let me try pretty much every honey they had and some cider. After buying some goods we made a stop for a round of mini golf. The course was so cute, of course themed German and we had a great time. I won, just throwing it out there. haha–big thanks to Ryan for making this trip memorable, DC was great, the week you spent on the trail, and then staying here in Helen. So many great memories that I will remember forever! You know, you can still take leave from work and continue the journey! As for me, it is almost midnight, I have to plug in my electronics, stretch, and get some rest since I don't know if I will be hiking tomorrow or not, I am guessing the smart thing to do is try to rest my feet and knees. Monday and Tuesday calls for rain...I am not looking forward to that. Not sure how often I will be able to update to the blog either since I left my computer in Helen I was able to bang all of this out quick (not really it took awhile.) But I will try my best; bare with me and realize I sleep on the ground outside, I hike at least 8 miles a day, cook in a small pot all of my meals, go to bed by 9:30 to wake up and do it all over again! I thought I would have all the time in the world to relax, meditate, reflect, and so far I haven't done any of those things! It will be different when I am without Ryan and more alone but still it's funny how we always THINK we have time to do things we want to do...goodnight everyone, this comfy hotel bed is calling my name.
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