We had a target to do 35km today – so that we could arrive before dinner to have a hamburger at The Barn Restaurant just off the trail. Idea was to sleep close to Barn (there is a motel) and go into Atkins for food shopping tomorrow.
The weather has warmed up and we were walking strongly – the first 25km was going to be the hardest (mostly uphill) and the last 10km mostly downhill.
The 25-30km stretch was fun, crossing several streams and feeling the sun baking down on us between the Rhododendrons hot house patches.
Just as we were due to stop for our 30km rest we saw a notice against a tree “Trail Magic at One Room School to the left, courtesy of Xxx parish” (can’t recall name). As we stepped out of the woods there was what was undoubtedly the one room school. It seemed locked up but a guy came driving down a path stopping where we were standing and told us to go right in and help ourselves to the goodies inside.
Though no host inside, there were boxes with chips (always a treat as we crave saltiness and only get chips in town, it takes too much space to carry in our cannisters) and sweets, and a cooler box with cold drinks.
We didn’t want to spoil our burger appetite but had something small (a cold drink, packet of chips and some oreos – our definition of small has changed somewhat) to help us through the next 5km. When signing the hikers register I saw Brooklyn went through yesterday, I thought he was days ahead of us! We chatted to other hikers who also arrived, laughed at the rules teachers had to adhere to in 1894 (especially the rule about one evening a week off to go courting, two if a regular church goer), and then moved on.
The Barn (no alcohol and no atmosphere but a kick-ass burger&fries) and the Relax Inn (where we are staying tonight) both disappoint, but this seems to be a bit of a trucker stop area so it is what it is. Home is after all where the heart is 😀.
For my flower loving friends: The different stages of rhodendrums flowering: