Safe and sound this morning, chilled around by myself for a while. Went back to the trail to find Minnataur sitting at the intersection.
Coming down to a road, the trail split into a “high water bypass” and the normal AT. The road was quite high above the river below. Peaking over the edge, the river seemed to be up and roaring quite loudly. Being the big wimp that I am, I opted to take the high water route to avoid any trouble with getting eaten alive by a river. Minnataur and Silence caught up with me and decided to join me on the blue blazed trail.
It wasn’t too bad of a choice. We cruised on through a quaint little neighborhood. Tiny houses with tiny yards backed against the mountain stretched down the road on either side. Mostly retirees inside their homes, probably watching TV or peeking out their blinds to make sure we don’t walk in their yard.
Oddly enough, walking down this tiny dirt road for a while, we reconnected with the trail… On the same side of the river we left it on. Did the river come out of the ground or something? Maybe the trial switches over the river twice… Who knows.
Pit stopped at a shelter to grab some water and get a full blown lunch. The shelter log warned of major damage to the next shelter ahead, so we of course decided to make a big push for it. Silence and I decided to push it, while Minnataur stayed back.
On our haul, we chatted about life in Israel and what it’s like to live there. Racism was another topic, as we tried to brainstorm ways to conquer it and how to allow people to become more united.
We reached the area where the book had a detour marked. The signs were very bright and vivid, but the road was incredible narrow and the cars definitely didn’t not leave liberal amounts of room when passing us. We walked alongside in the grass, checking out countryside manors advertising bed and breakfasts, farm stays, and fresh produce.
One advantage of road walking is being able to see the sky as you hike. Living and breathing in the Green tunnel doesn’t give us much opportunity to see the blue and white ocean floating and shifting above. Not to mention, as these long summer days are in full blast, the sky takes on it’s orange-red color much earlier and seems to hold it much longer.
After a while, we got off the main road and turned down a narrower country road that had the abrasive rough asphalt, easily felt through my well-worn boots. We trotted on like this for a while when a Camry passed us, abruptly putting on the brakes and reversing towards us. We approached the passenger seat.
“Hey, you guys are thru-hikers right?” she asks.
Of course, I’m sure she could smell us from a quarter mile back.
“I’ve got plenty of fuel if you guys need anything.” She said.
We thanked her profusely, but said we were good on fuel for now.
“Well, how about McDonalds?”
Can’t turn that down! We grabbed those bags, again thanking her profusely. As she drove off, Silence looks over at me:
“See man, just let the trail provide. Always happens when you least expect it.”
We decided to hike on to the next intersection then stop and eat the stuff before it goes cold. Just as we were about to open the bags, the Camry comes flying back down the road. This time I noticed the loud rap music bumping from the car.
“You guys just want to come camping at my house tonight? You’ve still got a ways to go today before you get to Limestone. Plus you know it’s closed right?”
We thought about it for a moment, and figured it would alright to go crash there. We threw our stuff in the trunk (of course not the hamburgers though) and climbed into the car. Both the driver and passenger seats were leaned back almost as far as they would go. Our Trail angel, Lisa, zipped us off down the road at lightning speed. The Eminem cranked back up, and next thing all 3 of us were nodding and flowing down the road. We stopped by the town that had the bridge to see if anyone was at the hostel, not a single hiker in the tiny 5 building village.
On the way back, we stopped at some park that had a bunch of kids standing around confused in a big circle. Some college kids equipped with whistles and baseball hats were walking around checking the kids for… something.
A normal looking dude came up to the car. He chatted with Lisa for a few minutes, though I’m not quite sure about what, and promptly walked off after a while.
“Don’t mind my mom when you guys go in the house. She loves talking to hikers” Lisa informed us.
Her house was a neat log-cabin styled house from the outside. The gravel underneath us crunched to the beat of a dog barking in the neighboring yard. As we stepped out, a large yard in the back spread out before us, large enough to host an entire campground of thru-hikers.
“Be careful out there on the edges, we’ve had bears come by and visit a few times.”
In the house, pieces of artwork were hung and propped up everywhere, but not in quite the disheveled way I’m used to seeing most artists galleries. All of the paintings were vertically oriented and cataloged. As we made our way though the house, Uncle Nan was sitting in the back part looking out the window, or watching TV. I’m not quite sure.
“Would you care to watch a documentary on the Church of Scientology?” she asked, with her distinct smile.