My battered body needs a rest day, and I think I can get it today.
This is a new hostel (opened last year) and there are lots of places I can tuck myself into and chill.
After a huge breakfast of waffles, eggs, potatoes, fruit, and bacon (!!!!!) I went outside to swing in a hammock and call my folks. It is hot and humid where they live in Lousiana, and as it so happens I met two other hikers from Lousiana this morning! That doesn’t happen very often. The states are well represented out here. I’ve met folks from Tennessee, Arizona, Alabama, Illinois, Washington, DC, Florida… it is a real slice of humanity on the AT, and stepping into the stream of hikers will immerse you in wildly different interactions from one day to the next. I love it.
I love it so much that I talked my good friend Carrie into trying out an AT hike this year. Carrie and I went to high-school and college together and she moved to Bend a few years ago. I’ve been going on and on about backpacking for so long, that when she had some time this year she decided to give it a go. She hopped on at Harper’s Ferry going north with the intention of staying on for 2-4 weeks. It has now been 2 months and she is approaching 500 miles! And she met a delightful hiker named No. 2 Pencil who has been chronicling their adventures on his You Tube Channel. Check out this interview he did with her recently.
In fact, even if Carrie gets off soon, she will hang out along the trail for a bit and when my path sobo crosses No. 2’s path going nobo, we are all going to take a day off together 🤗.
The rest of the day I watch movies, read, chat, and eat. I don’t have to leave the hostel to resupply because they have a stock of hiker food we can buy, so nice!
All of this reminds me of hanging out at the US Embassy rec center when I was a peace corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. We would hunker down for a whole day, watching movie after movie, eating good food and playing games. I hadn’t thought about those days in a long time, but this hostel reminds me…so many memories!
I snack on cold pizza, cheese, crackers and other delights with Hero for dinner, and then there is cake! It is Jenn’s (one of the owners) birthday today along with two other hikers, and there is cake and ice cream for all. Yes!
I slip away while it is still light out to lay down.
Sleep is a very important part of a rest day.
I had no idea of the social scene on the AT. No wonder it’s popular.
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It’s a very social trail!