DISCLAIMER: The second half of this blog post gets a little "personal" if you didn't like reading about me pooping in 20 degree weather while the wind blew-better skip this one too. Enjoy!
The early riser strikes again! Renaissance got up at like 7 to get the food bags down and I rolled back to sleep. When I heard later "Chi are you awake" and responded: kinda. I started my waking up process. It is a process. Once I am woken up, I still like to lay in my bag, then I sit up in my bag, start to get breakfast stuff together, then start putting stuff away. He was making cornbread in his kettle so I decided to bust out the scrambled eggs with bacon, and a packet of instant cheese grits. I tried a bite of cornbread and it was actually good, different which is always good. The eggs were...eh...not real eggs hahaha. Dexter was up and out before I even got out of my tent it was like 8:30 which is surprising for him, I don't think he even ate. We moseyed around and got on the trail for 9:15 (late for Renaissance; normal for me.) He hiked on at his pace and me at mine and we reunited at the shelter where I cooked a broccoli, cheddar pasta side with pepperoni added-yum! He wrote his log entry and my quote of course. This is where the day goes interesting. About 30 minutes after the shelter the trail bends to the left in a half circle manner-before that bend I see two dark figures to the right of that bend. Is that...yup, those are two black bears. Awesome. (Not really, I'm kinda freaking out.) So I shuffle noise with my poles in the leaves and on the rocks. Nothing, they stay put. I thought they were supposed to run off after hearing you! I am getting closer to the bend where they are and I just start tribal singing in a deep voice Mooombayaaa MumMum and so on. Thinking to myself please don't fucking kill me! The last glance I had at the closer one he was just staring frozen at me, as I passed them I couldn't look I just continued to chant in hopes they would leave me alone. I am horrible with judgement and measurement but my guess they were 20-40 feet away-too close either way. After that I was spooked, I put in my iPod and sung out loud until a hiker came up behind me and scared the shit out of me (not literally, that's later.) he appologized and wasn't sure if I had headphone in or was just singing. I explained how I had just seen the two bears but they must have run off since he hadn't seen them. Right before the road crossing I came up on a orange metal box that was rumored to have snacks and sodas in it-I lifted it up, but nothing. Spirits lowered I continued on and saw two boys carrying boxes of canned sodas toward me! Do you mind if I have a Mountain Dew I asked? Then the mother insisted on 2 cosmic brownie cakes as well-score! I crossed the road and sat while I ate my treats and drank my soda. The next few miles were through a farm and it was very pretty, once getting back in the woods my body told me it was time for bathroom woods stop #2 of the day, this finished off my washies which was ok since I had some coming the next day in Damascus from my mom. I continued on and walked alone until I came to a few people camped out. 3 men were headed south and then another guy who wasn't with them was headed north. As I filtered some water he went on to tell me that the next shelter has norovirus not to stay there and that he is having digestion issues but doesn't think it's noro and so on. I nodded and answered questions he asked but wasn't looking to stick around. I carried on and passed the empty shelter (which I didn't see any signs or caution about not staying there so I am wondering if he just liked to hear himself talk...he sure did a lot of it.) After that, not sure if it was the idea of noro in my head, the idea that I had like 4 squares of toilet paper left, or what but suddenly I had to pull off the side of the trail quick! I am out of wipes. I am out of toilet paper, and I just shit myself in the woods. (I made it to the woods so I didn't really shit myself lol) This instantly made me nervous. Out came the packet of strong probiotic I got from my naturopath doctor beforehand, and Gatorade powder. I mixed both of these in my Nalgene bottle and sipped on it. I walked down the trail sipping on the Gatorade and worrying what if it happens again, what if I don't see anyone else? Do I have noro? Do I have a water bacteria? Then from all my rehydration I have to pee every 15 minutes. It's 7:00, I get to a camp spot and have to make a decision: do I stay here and rest with no toilet paper alone, or do I push on in hopes of finding someone? I really was torn-luckily I had service so I did what I always do when I don't know what to do-I called my mom. She thought it would be a good idea to stay and rest, but after I was pushing more towards moving on she agreed. She also said "I'll tell you right now it's from those damn dehydrated eggs." Haha I think she's right. I decided to walk on, coming to a road crossing and back into the woods I came across a man going south. Yup I greeted him with, you don't by any chance have some toilet paper you can spare? And my god he did! Thank you so much! A little peace of mind for me, now all I need is a camp spot! My shin is just horrible pain, it's getting late, I just want to be in my tent. I finally come down the hill to a campsite with Mowglie and his friend (sorry I forgot your name) and set up my tent with them. We talked a little bit and I told them about Damascus and then I headed in to bed. I didn't bother eating incase I'd have to run for the woods that night.