Day 90 (July 19): Mile 1,599.7 – 1,600.9

An Unexpected Gift

Beginning Elevation = 5,950
Ending Elevation = 6,300
Weather: Sunny, mid-high 80’s

I had a nice sleep in the park. I had no need to get up right away so stayed laying in my tent for a while. There is actually WiFi in the park with decent speed, so I spent some time catching up on phone things. I had lots of goals for the day, but also had the whole day to complete them. I’d decided I wasn’t going to rush back to the trail, but instead try to rest my body, specifically my shin.

I’m not sure why it’s just the one shin. It’s just like the other odd “injuries” I’ve had on the trail, my achilles and my quad and my hamstring. It’s almost like when my body senses I’m pushing it to hard, it signals some random pain to say, “Hey, quit being stupid! Calm it down bro” Yes, I just quoted words that my body is telling me. Let’s move on…

Once going, I headed straight to Wildwood Crossing Coffee Shop. I ordered a croissant breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and bacon and a coffee. Then, proceeded to enjoy whilst causally uploading my blog posts and taking a look at what’s up ahead in terms of resupply points. I also managed to call Big Agnes, the company that made my tent, and found out that I could ship it to them for repair. This led to making a plan for how to make that work, basically coordinating with Dave H to have him ship his tent to the next town I’ll be in. Then, when I get his tent, I can ship my damaged one out.

Here’s my damaged zipper….

I spent a good 3 hours or so hanging at the coffee shop and ended up getting some OJ and a muffin for second breakfast. I got to talk with some locals who were all super friendly and welcoming, as well as some other hikers (Euro from Oregon, Pacckin from Australia, and Legs from ?). They had hiked with Snickers a bit and told me they thought he’d left town yesterday, so looks like I’m around a day behind him possibly.

Next, I visited the hardware store to get some duct tape and stove fuel and then Ray’s Food Store and got my resupply. Afterwards, I returned to the park and liesurely went through my food items removing packaging before stuffing everything into my pack.

For lunch, I went right back to Wildwood Crossings. These folks were great, the food delicious, I had space for my pack and could plug in my battery pack. Why go anywhere else? I’ve felt this elsewhere along the trail, that I’ve come to really appreciate the local coffee shop or restaurant. Who knows where I’ll end up after the trail, but wherever I am, I hope to find and become nice and familiar with a coffee shop in the neighborhood.

I’d about finished up all the things I’d wanted to accomplish in town at that point, but spent a few more hours lounging around in a little open picnic space. Another hiker even randomly asked if I wanted the leftover ice they had, so i tried elevating and icing my shin for about fifteen minutes.

At 3:30pm, I was on the road next to another hiker, Tomahawk (I think that was his name), waiting for a ride back up to the trail. He got a ride first. It was a truck that had room just for one. But, a few minutes later I got picked up by the nicest mother and daughter combo, Sonya and Alexia. We chatted the whole way back up to the trailhead and for a while up there before I headed out on the trail.

Before going, I’d asked if I could give them some money for gas. She said no and asked how much I would’ve given. I told her folks have accepted $5 or so, but most refuse the offer. She told me she’d had a dream about this and that she was going to give me $5 instead. I tried turning her down, but she actually ended up giving me $9 and for each of the four extra dollars had some words of encouragement for me. I thought afterwards that I’ll have to find a way to pay the kindness forward. I hadn’t realized up to that point that she was spiritual, but Sonya said she’d be praying for me. They both seemed very genuine and caring and I was happy for the experience!

Once hiking, I took it nice and slow. All the things…blisters, shin, etc…were doing good and I wanted to keep it that way. So, I took the first flat tent site I could find and set up, only about a mile down the trail. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing. Had a nice dinner of Spanish rice with bean dip and cheese wrapped up in a tortilla. And made this slow mo of my rice boiling. Now this is some exciting footage people…

I even got a curious visitor milling about camp for a half hour or so. I just watched, it was nice.

It feels good to be up here again! I’m ready to keep treking north.

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