Day 75 – 7/5/16
1270.04 to 1284.43
Total miles: 14.37
Woke up today again feeling very tired. Took me a few minutes of sitting before I started to pack up my stuff. We started moving by 5:20 back up to the trail. It was a steep climb back to the trail. Never like those early in the morning. My Achilles tendon is always sore and tight in the morning. 5 Stat and I got back onto the trail without being impaled by dead fall branches too much.
The trail went up for a bit more before leveling out some. We passed by a lady standing on the trail with a rain jacket on, hood up, and a mosquito net under the hood. Even had gloves on. Not a single speck of exposed skin. She was right next to a boggy meadow taking pictures. She said there was a blue heron out there. Must be hot wearing all that. I had my wind pants on since the mosquitoes were out in force.
The trail eventually started the long descent to Belden. From 6,300 feet to 2,200 feet. The trail was completely overgrown by bushes. This has been a frequent thing to deal with the last couple days. Some of the bushes have thorns or the branches are very sharp. Constantly cutting up my legs, smacking me in the face, ripping off my sunglasses. Always something on the trail. She’s a cruel mistress.
5 Star stops to pee off the side of the trail just as a trail maintenance crew rounds a corner coming uphill. That’s how it works out here. No one else around all day, but the second you’re at yur most vulnerable someone shows up. The trail gods have a sense of humor that’s for sure.
We continue downhill. It’s long. My knees are scream “why hast though forsaken us?!” Because I want breakfast in Belden, knees. A big omelet with diced ham.
Finally after a few hours of knee killing descent we cross over some railroad tracks. We start walking down the road and come across people parked and camping behind a sign saying don’t do those two things. Reading is hard.
We keep going and see the slow moving of clearly hungover or just coming down from their weekend of beyond recreational drug use. Apparently there was a music festival over the weekend and the stragglers are left. Also, probably close to 50 Porta potties. The smell.
We reach a large two story building that appears to be a hotel/saloon/restaurant/store. We walk in and go out to the porch and sit down. Behind us is an old fire truck and a river flowing by. It’s quite nice over here. A dude in camouflage pants, tye dye shirt, a rose themed bandana on his head, and very large rings on his fingers starts loudly talking to us about the trail from where he is sitting. He has a German Shepherd that is passed out next to him. We politely talk to him about the trail and then he rambles on about the Appalachian Trail.
We order food and loud talker starts talking to a girl at the table between us. This guy can not keep to a topic. One second he’s talking about tattoos and the next he’s talking about lead and meteors. 5 Star and I just sit in our seat patiently waiting for food. After listening to the ramblings of someone who knows everything for 30 minutes our food arrives. I inhale my omelet. It was good. I am a satisfied hiker.
I call up Brenda Braaten who lives just down the road and will host some hikers. She also has my resupply package. She tells me that the house is available for 5 hikers and no smoking, alcohol, drugs, or dogs allowed. I tell her that is perfect. She says she’ll be over in 10 minutes.
We sit on the front porch and wait patiently. A brand new Nissan Frontier pickup drives up. Out jumps Brenda and her Daughter. We pick up our packs and throw them in the back of the pickup. We get inside the truck and it still smells new but they have a sheet down to protect the seats from us smelly homeless types. Wonder how long before we smell it up?
We get to her house and there is an addition to the side that is similar to a 2 bedroom apartment. It has 4 beds, a kitchen, and bathroom. It’s perfect. We drop off our stuff and change into “town clothes.” Most of it is for women. I’m currently wearing a Womens large shirt. It’s a bit tight. Oh well.
In the room we have our stuff in there is a scale. 143 pounds. I’m down 19 pounds since the start. I was hoping only to get to 140. I’m worried about getting down to 130 now. Hopefully with the less days between towns I can countreact the weight loss with more burgers and milkshakes.
We take showers and 5 Star washes his clothes in a bucket. After he finishes I wash mine. It’s nasty. The water is a disgusting black. So much dirt in the clothes! After laundry we walk a 1/4 mile down the busy road to Caribou Crossings where there is a diner.
We order burgers but the fryer is broken. Nooooo! Oh well. We also order a sandwich to go a then get a milkshake. They were decent. We walk back and inside the little apartment is a plate of oatmeal rain cookies. Awesome! So awesome. I love this place. I just want to stay forever.
I grab the foot soaking bucket and fill it up with hot water and Epsom salt. I sit out on the front porch and enjoy the nice cool day in the shade listening to a small creek flow by. Then some chickens walked by. Amazing.
It was pretty nice just sitting, relaxing, messing around on the Internet to see what craziness the world is up to. I don’t miss that at all. No political bullshit. Around 7:30 Brenda came by with a couple that are staying in the other room. They are from Texas. We swapped stories for awhile before it started getting close to hiker midnight of 9 pm. I’m so happy to be in a bed and to have had a shower. Long climb of almost 5,000 feet tomorrow morning. Not looking forward to that.