Pretty easy day; a big climb at first and then an easy (almost flat) 5 miles. The terrain is getting easier. (This does not mean I am getting any faster; just that I’m not as exhausted when I reach my destination).
GREAT SUCCESS with a hitch into Bland. We were walking down the gravel road to get to the highway going into Bland, and a white pickup was going pretty slow down the road (the same direction we were headed). OWL said, should I ask them for a ride? I said SURE, and so she threw out her thumb. Much to both our surprise, the truck stopped – it was an older guy with his wife – and he said he’d give us a ride down the mountain. As we were climbing into the back I asked if he was going into Bland…he said no…I said no problem, we are thankful for the ride down the mountain! At the bottom of the mountain he said – we have time, I’ll take you into Bland….where do you want to go? I said DAIRY QUEEN and he started laughing. (I’m guessing his wife talked him into taking us).
DQ was an amazing thing, and as a special bonus, it was in a gas station so I could get a few candy bars also! I had:a cheeseburger, fries, chili cheese dog, soda, and a georgia mud blizzard. I could have eaten more – but we had miles to go before the shelter so I held back a bit. I just THOUGHT I had HikerHunger before! Charged electronics and called my folks. I tried to talk OWL into staying in town (at the Big Walker Hotel) but she was not enthused. So decided to try to hitch back to the trail.
We had a terrible time getting a hitch. Finally, after OWL said “this is the last one” and I tried my infamous “we’ll get in the back!” hand signals, a guy (Seth T) in a maroon truck pulled over. My hero! I am always so excited to get a hitch. It just makes things so much easier.
We walked the final 2 miles to the shelter. Saw KFox and Gumby tenting, and Mr. GiggleFits and his girlfriend Paisley in the shelter. They are the most hilarious shelter mates I’ve had so far! (Once I found out his name was Mr. GiggleFitsI have to admit I had high expectations). There was synchronized boy stretching (even though Gumby is the most inflexible Gumby ever), and shared whiskey. As an improvement from yesterday, today’s privy had two walls. (The one yesterday had zero walls; just a toilet seat on an elevated platform).