I woke up at 1am and knew I wasnt going to sleep again immediately so went down (from the hostel sleeping area) to the lounge. Sat there for an hour, read a bit and had a Whatsapp chat with a SA friend (was early morning there) – having communication with or getting news from my family and friends is really precious to me.
Sadly one of my oldest and dearest friends’ dad passed away today. Though the AT is probably the biggest challenge I have tackled in my life, the hardest thing is not the touhness of the trail (and it is tough, in case I have not emphasised that enough!) but being so far for so long from friends and family when they are going through life changing events. But if anything it emphasises the importance of these relationship and how much they should be treasured.
Iceman picked us up at 9am (we have by then walked to Dunkin Donut for coffee and donut breakfast: I am sure few people believe that I am eating donuts; let alone for breakfast!), we dropped our rucksacks at the motel (we are moving to a motel for tonight, Sunday nights one can get rooms, Saturday nights no way) and went to Walmart for food&phone shopping.
We got a nice surprise when Tin Can arrived at the hostel last night. He is the nicest kid and we have walked together a few weeks ago but he went off trail for a family event. He has now caught up with us again, he is also zero-ing today, after having had to rush down from Mt Washington yesterday in that weather! Sawbones (a woman my age, a surgeon), her partner (a military pensioner), Firefly and quite a few others we know are in same position.
Tin Can got a ride to Walmart with us. Trevor couldn’t get a phone there so we did food shopping, dropped Tin Can back off at hostel, Iceman drove us to the on-trail hostel we will stay at on Tuesday to drop our food (other than for next 2 days) to lighten our packs, then drove us to an adjacent town to a phone shop. Long story short: all sorted and our logistics made possible by having him around.
We got dropped back at hostel and Iceman went to a trail head to do trail magic (which I suspect is going to mean a lot of driving bringing hikers to Walmart). Trevor and I went for a pizza and was amazed by the number of ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles) driving around town: that is why motels are full:
The other interesting thing is that it seems we have moved into region where bears as town mascots have been replaced by moose mascots (they aren’t the prettiest):
We are now lying resting our legs at the motel. Trevor is busy setting up his new phone and I will either read or sleep for an hour or two.
We got a room with an adjacent kid’s room (maybe I will move Trevor in there for the night):
Oh by the way, my friends walking around Mont Blanc sent this picture, making me realise we are not the only people learning to dance on rocks:
We will be back to the trail tomorrow morning. Chat soon.