Walking back to the trail intersection this morning, I ran into Beowulf, who thought I kept on hiking when I left the shelter that night. He was he was worried, which made me feel more like a genuine ass hole..
Anyway, from there it was a nice stroll to an overlook that was COVERED in graffiti. I guess the road coming up to the spot is accessible by any dumb smuck with a set of wheels.
Anyway, well I got to PenMar and met up with Nature Boy. We spent a while looking for working wall chargers and finally found one awkwardly placed behind and on top of a soda machine (Note to travellers: In a pinch, check behind any kind of vending machines. There will usually be an extra outlet or two for which you can plug in and charge. Just don’t be a dick and unplug the vending machine). We met up with 2 locals who were just eating lunch and chatting with some random black guy who was hanging out at the park with them. We sat around and chatted with all 3 of them for a while. After the two guys shared some of their lunch with us, the black guy said “Oh, I’m a trail angel by the way. I’m in the book”.
I remember vaguely reading somewhere that there was a private shuttle service, but not necessarily a trail “angel”. Well anyway, we get him to take us into town for 10 bucks after having to negotiate with him for a few minutes… Which was irritating. He brought Nature by the grocery store and then we went to the tobacco store, where he proceeded to get $11 worth of scratch off tickets for $1. Of course he didn’t win anything, but I guess it’s still the thought that counts… $20 later that ass hole had worked money out of our wallets and dropped us back off at the trail. Thankfully though, Nature had bought lunch which was rotisserie chicken with potato rolls and lots of other picnic goodies. We set up and ate at a picnic table on the side of the highway, when a lady in an RV pulled up. She offered us some paper towels and such. Found out she was supporting her husband “Turbo” (she was appropriately named “Booster”) on a thru hiker. And man was he crushing it! I guess when you only carry 10 pounds it’s pretty easy to average 30 miles a day lol.
I stopped briefly at the first shelter, and decided to press on a few more miles to the one ahead, hearing it was an excellent shelter to stay at. Thus, I pressed on with Neon just behind me by a few minutes. On my journey to the new pad, I stumbled across a bag of ice in the woods…
I’m not sure what it’s significance was, but it was definitely cold and fresh… and in the middle of nowhere. So anyway, after walking a while I ran across Wayfarer again at the next shelter, who appeared to want his alone time so I let him be, and walked on another half mile to the next shelter. By this time Neon had caught up and passed so I tailed him all the way to our stop for the night. The only other person present was Ishmael, a nice section hiking fellow that was an English teacher.
Decided to have a safety meeting, and then ended up hanging my hammock up in the shelter’s picnic area. Definitely a unique spot to setup. Kept me nice and dry, no tarp required.
Neon and I spent several hours throwing his frisbee back and forth. Best luxury item EVER. We had a good bit of fun with that.
While going to get water, I ran across a fairly large sized rat snake that got brave and bowed up at me was I walked by and started coming after me. I know they aren’t poisonous, but they still hurt like hell when they bite. No thank you.
One of the best features of Tumbling Rock camp is that there are two shelters: One is marked for snorers and one is marked for non-snorers. We need more of these shelter complexes along the trail…