Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 97-After 3 Months I Get To See My Family!

Welcome to camping in a sauna-summertime in a tent is basically the same thing in the morning. This morning I could sleep in and here the sun and heat were waking me up! I laid there for awhile but there was no going back to sleep. After deciding to start getting things together and packed up, I knew it was going to be a warm one. I filled my water at the trail magic so I still had about 2L to get me through my 7.3 miles. At first it wasn't too bad some small rock sections, and then a boulder field, more smaller stuff, and then the last big boulder field. I came up to the gang sitting on the side of the trail, before a gravel road, with a bunch of water. They needed this trail magic more than I did, but I did fill my smartwater bottle as backup. The majority of the day was spent up in the mountain walking on ridge line terrain. There weren't many views, or things to see; but I was getting eager to get to the Nature Center where I would meet my mom. After a strong downhill I saw the gang sitting at a campsite, I joined them and laid out my sleeping pad to enjoy the day. I had so much time to kill that even once they left I stayed longer. Once I decided to take on the last leg before the Nature Center it was all downhill from here-literally. I hit the shelter soon after and was amazed how close I was. They weren't leaving Connecticut until after 1:00 and it was maybe 1:45? After the shelter was some bigger boulders again, and then I saw the sign for the Woodpecker Trail. I knew I had to take the woodpecker trail and it would drop me right at the center. I felt skeptical of a new trail when I have followed the white blazes for so long. I saw a light brown blaze on some trees so I headed that way, knowing in .5-.75miles I should be at the center. I got to a crossing where left followed the light brown blazes and down looked like it went to civilization, naturally I headed towards the road. I ended up coming out to white blazes! Back on the AT I was, oh well guess I was supposed to follow the other way. I got down to the main road with parking, and asked some people if they were locals-they were not. I asked my mom for the address to where she would be picking me up, and I put it in my phone GPS. I walked down the main road, took a left on a side road while ran parallel to the bike path and after about 12 minutes I was there! Arriving around 2:30 I knew I would be waiting for them, but I didn't mind. I figured I'd ask to wait inside and blog. I walked up to the center and read "closed" guess I won't be waiting inside. Luckily there was a porch with a bunch of chairs, AND electricity! I was set. I took off my sweaty shirt, hung it in the sun, wiped down my wounds and put neosporin on them. Then I saw a hose and thought-I may never leave here! I filled my jetboil and made some buffalo chicken rice to put in tortillas. It was really good minus I put a little too much water so they dripped everywhere. I lounged around blogging and texting until a woman came up and unlocked the door to go inside. We chatted for a bit and she gave me candy and asked if I wanted to get out of the heat for a minute and look around, I accepted. Inside she told me about the center and let me use the restroom. After she introduced herself as Kathy and showed me a vending machine on the side which I had no idea was there. I bought a poweraide and sat back down. They were having some event at 6:00 so around 5:00 volunteers like Kathy came to set up. A man pulled up in a pickup and the first thing he said to me was "are you going to donate for using our electricity?" I replied with I already took it up with Kathy (I didn't donate but she never gave me trouble or asked for any money she was interested in my journey and helping me.) I then replied with I was thruhiking and he said oh we don't usually get thruhikers down here. Yeah but my family was meeting me and this was a good place to meet. (Now leave me alone with the questioning!) The sun was getting below the porch line and was making me sweat all over again. Mom said they should be here between 6:00 and 6:15. Kathy came back over and said the side of the porch probably would be shaded and cooler that I could move a chair over if I wanted. I moved over there and it was ten times cooler and with a breeze! Now I've got it made, but no outlet for my phone. It was mostly charged so I just sat and blogged. They had a really nice flower garden and a shed with a living roof, which I thought was amazing and would love to have one day! As I sat there the time got closer and closer until a silver Jeep pulled by, they were here! Mom came and gave me a big hug, and then Felix and then we got Hunter out! It was so good to see her, I would have been so shocked had I not gotten daily photos via Flickr on how much she's grown! She was so smiley and came right to me and kept looking at me smiling, I was so happy! I even got a kiss when I asked for one! We hung out for a bit and fed and changed her while Felix let the dogs out to stretch their legs. We had an hours ride or so to Philly so everyone enjoyed the little break before the next car ride. I sat with Hunter on one side of me and my pack on the other, we had a full house. When we got to the hotel, we got settled in and ordered Chilis to the room since it was already so late. I got a quesadilla and a side of black beans and Hunter and I took selfies, she loves the phone and even more seeing photos of her and I. Even at home, my mom says she loves looking at the photo of her and I at my party before I left on the background of my mom's phone. I blogged in bed and talked with my mom for awhile and then she went to bed and I continued to blog until 1am and decided to call it a night, Liberty Bell tomorrow!

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