Day 35 (May 12): Mile 430.4 – 444.2

The Amazing Acton KOA

Beginning Elevation = 5,900
Ending Elevation = 2,250
Weather: Just a tad toastier than perfection

I was the first out of camp when I began walking around 6:20. I felt re-energized and excited to hike, a big turnaround from yesterday. I snapped a photo as I was packing up my tent.

I took lots of pictures and videos this morning. My phone was telling me that it was losing storage space, but still let me take videos. I had some nice views and lots of birds, quite a few hummingbird’s!

Since I was out of snacks, I didn’t eat anything when I packed up camp. Instead, I took a nice long break on the top of this hill to enjoy some cold soaked oatmeal and coffee.

Both we’re surprisingly good. Seeming as I was rather hungry, I licked every little bit off the oatmeal packets, PFA’s and all! I had a bit of service here, so it was nice to catch up after the past few days being “off the grid” a bit.

I saw some more birds and some new flowery bushes.

Mid to late morning I joined others at the North Fork Ranger Station. The place was closed to the public, but there was a super ice guy maintaining the place who also provided hikers water and had some snacks and soda for purchase (to go towards a non-profit). As I mentioned before, I was out of snacks, so this worked out great! .

Dr. Pepper told me I deserved it, see it’s even written on the can. I said thanks for making the world taste better. At this time a group showed up and someone asked if sun gloves were being missed. I’m embarrassed to admit that they were indeed mine. I was able to thank Salsa, the guy who returned them to me by buying him is requested Mountain Dew. After snacking, filling up with water, and changing into shorts, I was ready to hit the trail again.

I opted to start the next stretch listening to some tunes. Eddie Vedder, O.A.R, Greensky Bluegrass, and Mr. Dylan have been taking over the shuffle playlist charts, but my first song starting out of this stretch took the top spot for trail listening thus far: “Concerning Hobbits,” from The Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack. I was feeling pumped and cruising until I realized I hadn’t put sunscreen on yet. I stopped, lathered up, then turned to continue on. In my way, however, was the largest snake I’ve seen on trail yet, maybe a 4-5 footer. I don’t think it was a rattlesnake though, and he slithered away quick which I liked, but still it startled me that he tried to sneak up when my back was turned.

The other thing in this next stretch was this flowering bush. It looked pretty and I took a photo.

I was seeing it everywhere including surrounding the trail and reaching into the trail. I didn’t comprehend that it had exactly the same flowers as the poodle dog bush. It was everywhere though, and slightly different, so I was fairly confident it wasn’t. I later asked others and they didn’t seem to think it was either. If it was though, I will likely have another bout of the rash. I still have it from my first encounter and it still seems to be spreading.

Lots of flowers and views.

Made it to the KOA around 4:00pm. I found the front office and just outside eating some pizza were the young Danes and Yard Sale and Sophie. I checked in to the campground for $15/night and then purchased a Ben and Jerry’s “Tonight Show Dough” ice cream bar as well as a Gatorade.

Next, I went and set up my tent amongst the other thru-hikers. I took a photo of the arrangement, but something went wrong with my picture and it’s all black but for a sliver along the top. Basically, it was a group of 10-15 of us tenting in the lawn/dirt adjacent to the pool area. A few picnic tables were out…it was very nice.

After getting my tent set, I was off to do laundry. Got my wash done, then when the clothes were in the dryer, I did a rinse shower, then jumped into the pool! Incredible. And it was the biggest pool at a campground I can remember. We (Snickers, Lamb Chops, Adam, Yard Sale, Sophie, and I) had it to ourselves. The hot tub…oh my stars for the love of Lyza…even better than the pool.

I did an actual shower afterwards, then picked up my clothes from the dryer and was feeling clean. Food was next on my mind. I debated on getting dinner from the store, but the allure of ordering from a place in town was too much. I had to go in to the office and use this phone to order my spaghetti dinner! I also had ordered by request some beer to be delivered to our group of 10-15 hikers.

It was a fun evening at the campground. We had a couple of the picnic tables pulled together and gathered to eat, drink, and some played cards. In addition to those I mentioned by the pool were: Sunny, Ent, Enterprise, Slingshot, and Salsa.

While hanging around our picnic tables, we began seeing lots of cars driving in. People began setting up equipment and stuff around the cabins nearby. I think it was Ent who went up to ask and found that they had rented all the cabins out and planned to do some filming. We enjoyed guessing what the plot was, but really didn’t see too much going on though.

We made it to a crazy 9:15pm night, whoa.

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