Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 159- From Tent, To Cabin, To Camper

Last night reminded me of the night in Pennsylvania, the one where I thought I may die by death of tree. Yes, I slept with one eye open and my pack close to my head. The wind picked up and woke me up around 10:30 it whipped and whirled and I thought any second something would come crashing down. I tucked my legs close to me and balled up in the corner of my tent to get the most protection. The morning came and although I went to bed early, I didn't want to get up early. It was so cold! The wind was still blowing and I finally decided to get things rolling. I bundled up and headed up the trail. When I got to the first Baldpate Mountain summit I knew today was going to be interesting. I forded out into the open, windy, fog. I was fully exposed and the wind was insane. I felt as though I was climbing Mt. Everest. I slammed my trekking poles back and fourth just holding my balance. The rock slabs were climbing worthy and I was on all four at times just to not get blown over. I felt so alone up here and wondered if I was insane. There was no stopping or going back, only slowly and carefully moving forward. It got worse before it got better, but like all things; it always gets better. The down was as bad if not worse than the up but before I knew it (not really, it took awhile) I was back in the protection of small trees, then thicker forrest and back to normal conditions. It's amazing how much colder it has gotten over the last couple of days. I got word from Yeti that they had made it to town but still didn't hear from Tumbles. I let him know I would be heading to the Cabin since I had a package there but I never heard back. I continued my long downhill into town and I must say the terrain wasn't bad at all, sure it was exhausting on my knees but at least it was dirt and not rock. I got to the waterfall which meant I only had .9 until the road, after about 10 minutes I saw a day hiker on his phone. I turned mine on, called the Cabin to arrange my ride. Sure glad I did since I wouldn't have service at the road. I got to the road maybe 10-15 minutes later and saw Bud ahead of me. We sat and waited at the road, seems today was his birthday so he was going to go into town and possibly stay. Earl showed up in his pickup and we hopped in, he gave us the rundown and dropped us in town for lunch, to just give a call when we were finished. We went into the Little Red Hen and I got a chicken, bacon, ranch quesadilla with waffle fries and it was really good. I charged my phone and caught up with some people through text. After lunch we went to the general store and I got two cucumber lime Gatorades that Tumbles and Yeti had been telling me about. After I talked with some hikers over by the bleachers and asked if they had seen Yeti and Breaktime, they thought they may have stealthed in town and left in the morning. We walked over to Pine Ellis the other hostel to check and Happy Hiker, 10:46, and Ginja Ninja were there; I called Earl to come get us. To my surprise Earl's truck pulled up, but Ivan The Terrible was driving, I hadn't seen her since the night at the AMC Highland Center dinner. We hopped in and rode back to the hostel. At the hostel we got a quick rundown and I hopped in the shower, after I threw in my laundry and was already feeling better. There were hostel clothes for us to wear and I couldn't believe there was actually a box labeled "woman's underwear." I decided to get a private room and what I didn't know was that meant a trailer, this should be interesting. Hey I didn't want to be in a close quartered bunk room so this would be my Into The Wild experience. I set up my tent to dry out, opened up my food box and sorted through that, and then we all watched Date Night. Baltimore Jack is here for a few days and he was making a spaghetti dinner for us all. The No Parents No Bedtime crew was here and the total of us was around 14, he cooked for about 22. The garlic bread was beyond amazing, we had a great salad, large portion of pasta with sauce and some wine. Everything was great and it was a great crew to be with. What topped off the night though was the table turning. This was a legendary table that Earl Shaffer signed (the first person to thruhike the Appalachian Trail!) We marveled at the signatures and then we were handed Sharpies. What an honor to be able to sign such a piece of history. One day it could end up in the AT Museum which would be so cool. They don't flip the table every night, or even every year, it's only every so often for a select few; and I am honored to be one of them. Later that night we headed up to an old abandoned airplane strip to try and see the aurora borealis but had no luck. Instead we did some long exposure light writhing with Marathon's point and shoot. It got pretty cold so I called it a night and headed back to my camper. I swaddled up in my jacket and sleeping bag, and then pulled the sheet over me and called it a night.

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