My 12:30 wake up call was my tent illuminating followed by a big crash bang and pouring rain. How comforting. Breakfast is at 8 but Mary asked us to be at the house 10 of-so I set two alarms just in case. As I strolled into the house half asleep, it was like a jolt of espresso to my eyes! The fooooood! Let's see, we had scrambled eggs done in the oven, fresh tomatoes, homemade breakfast potatoes, kielbasa, a cake, cantaloupe, strawberries, biscuits, croissants with ham egg and cheese, blueberry pancakes, and some kind of trail mix brittle. Oh my! It shows one croissant on my plate but I went up for another! It was all so good, I sat with Dexter, and a couple that are here on vacation backpacking 3 days. The rain stopped after breakfast, and slackpacking was in order. They would take us 14 miles north and we would hike south back to the hostel, sounds good to me! I sat on the couch for a bit and talked with two braids while she waited for her brother to pick her up and while I stretched and massaged my leg. ManBear and Dexter decided to do work for stay so they changed and washed the sheets in the hostel, vaccumed, and did some other little things here and there and were done in an hour-not bad. Mary the owner shuttled us up to the trailhead and around 11:00 we were on the trail. The section was gorgeous, a walk in the woods for sure. We came up on little waterfalls and the trail was mostly flat and green. The first waterfall was pretty cool, a giant rock face with water plummeting down. It's always cool going south because we run into all the northbounders. We hit the 400 mile mark today! While passing Spike, Big Cheese, Johnny Walker, Rennisance and all of those guys in that bubble. They had told us about the river coming up, a blue blazed trail to a great waterfall, and the 400 mile marking. The river was pretty cool, we took an unmarked trail and came to some big rocks and hung out by the river for a few, after getting back on the trail we found it walked around the other side of the river where we found Little Man sitting! It's always good to see a familiar face. Seems he is solo at the moment, hiked from 12-3am and was pretty tired when we saw him. Pressing on to the falls I came across another orange newt-made me think of Bonnie and when I was younger! I love those little guys! The falls were spectacular, I sat on a rock and enjoyed them while eating a protein bar. I saw two yellow butterflies circling the top of the falls. It was already 3:00 and the shuttle at the hostel goes into town at 5 for dinner...still 5.9 miles to go-I rather enjoy the falls and figure out a ride later. It's hard to leave a cool place-I could have sat by the river all day, but being on a slackpacking schedule has it's pros and cons. The rest of the hike was still a walk in the woods with an occasional steeper up or down but for an overall rating its a great section. There was plenty of changing scenery as well which is always nice. Once I reached the road I saw Rocky's truck and figured I had to go left up the road...until I came to the crossing I got off the trail yesterday and realized I was going the wrong way and turned around to make the same walk down to the hostel as yesterday. I put my gear in my tent, and went up to the porch to wait for Dexter and ManBear. Once Dexter arrived I was texting with Big Dave about meeting for dinner, I went in the house to see if they could bring us to town. It was now about 6:00 and Mary said she could bring us in when she picked up the others at 6:30 but we would have to get a ride back. I squared up my bill for another night, ate two cookies, and sat outside on the porch until 6:30. We were about to get in the car when a woman said she had an untouched small pepperoni pizza they couldn't eat, again don't mind if I do! I had a slice to take on the road to dinner. When we got there we went to the same place as last night, this time I got a bacon cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. Big Dave didn't want his coleslaw so I ate some of that too, and then headed to the redimart again. (I want to make sure I have enough food to get me to Damascus where my mom is sending me a mail drop.) My food bag is again a toddler, but with baggage-not all food will fit in the food bag. We were still in town around 8:00 and I was wanting to get back-it's amazing how fast time goes by. The guys got milkshakes and I facetimed with Mom, Hunter, and Felix-I forgot to take a screen shot! We hitched a ride with one of the workers at the dairy bar and back at the hostel I sat to let my phone charge and blog. It is so hard to accomplish all that I have to accomplish when in town! Blogging is no quick task for me either, it takes awhile to catch up. I wish I could pre-write them on the trail and just publish when in town but it would take up too much battery doing that too. Oh well, it's 10:45 and I should go to bed-breakfast feast in the morning and then back in the woods. I am so tempted to see if they do a further north slackpack and if so how much would it cost-this place is so welcoming I don't wanna leave!
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