It was a great day today. The weather forcast called for severe weather, but it was a beautiful sunny day after 9 am. I hung my hammock on the property at Laughing Heart Hostel. By the time I got my laundry done it was after 7, so I hung around the hostel chatting with other thru-hikers. I got to meet, Jester, a triple crown hiker that also shoots documentaries for long distance hiking. A triple crown means he has hiked the AT, the PCT(Pacific Crest Trail), and the CDT(Continental Divide Trail). In the hiking world that is a big deal. It was fascinating talking with him. We stayed up until after 11, talking out about gear, resupply, and hiking in general.
It rained over night, but nothing severe. I was up at 6:30, I'm finally starting to get onto a hikers sleep schedule. JC and Annie, got into town around 8:00 and it was great to see them. We went to the local diner and I ate a ginormous breakfast. Then they came along for my resupply trip. Hot Springs had great options for my next 6 day leg. Once again, I'll be heading out of town with more food than I want to carry, but a girls got to eat. We walked around town for a little while(it's only 1 mile long), then headed back to the hostel. JC got to talk to some of the other hikers. He will be hiking the AT in a few weeks, so he enjoyed talking with them. I'm sure it was a surreal experience for Annie seeing so many hikers gathered in one place. Most of the people I've seen in recent weeks were in town. We caught up with Harry Potter, Putt-Putt, Tumbles, Packingitout guys, Starcrunch, Doubleback, Hoot, G-Man, Jokes. I even saw HVAC and Lorax again. I got my resupply sorted and my bag repacked and then we had to find a place for us to stay. The Laughing Heart Hostel only serves long distance hikers. We ended up renting an awesome 2 bedroom cabin for dirt cheap. It is right along a creek and tavern. We hit the convenience store and grabbed some beers and hung out by the creek. Eventually Cyborg and Stealth Bomber(the couple that gave me my trail name) showed up. We talked with them for a little while, then went to dinner. The local tavern had a great menu and beer selection. I had a huge burger with chili on it, a salad, and fries. Delicious!!! We went back to the cabin and got a fire started in the fire pit. We had s'mores and talked some more with Stealth Bomber and Cyborg.
It's way past hiker midnight and tomorrow promises to be a long day. I have a long food carry and I've learned that coming out of town means a long steep climb.
It was amazing to see such great friends and laugh all day. They also got a first hand look at the hiker life. I hope they enjoyed their trip as much as I did they. They will head out tomorrow to provide trail magic to hikers by Max Patch. Then they will hike up and enjoy my favorite spot from the trail to date. I will head north to Erwin, TN. I should be there in 5-6 days and hoping for better weather. Of course more rain is in the forcast, but hopefully it won't materialize.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness." -Leo Tolstoy, Family Happiness