Today's Nero was everything I thought it would be and more. I got up and hit the trail running(literally) at 8:30. I'm finally starting to get a system going for breaking camp quickly. I was packed up and had my morning coffee in 30 minutes, a new record for me. There is a cheap motel in Franklin that runs a free hiker shuttle service at 9 and 11 am. I knew I couldn't make the 9, but I was pretty sure I could catch the 11. Everybody in camp told me I was crazy. There was no way I could do 7.3 miles in 2.5 hrs. I thought I could do it in 2. Well, we were all wrong. I did it in 2 hrs and 15 min. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy trail running in the mornings. The first 3.5 miles only took me an hour. It was mostly downhill, with one small climb. I quickly left the group behind on the small climb. I had 1.5 hrs to make it the final 3.8 miles. I knew it would be close, but I felt up to the challenge. I ended up getting to the pickup spot with 15 minutes to spare. Never tell me I can't do something. I'll damn near kill myself to prove you wrong.
Ron Haven's Budget Inn is probably the worst place I have ever stayed. I didn't really expect much since it only cost $40. The staff, minus Ron Haven, have been really polite. The motel is within walking distance to everything I need. They even had a laundry room on site. This place really caters to us thru-hikers. After a lovely shower and doing laundry, I set out to resupply. I had about a half mile walk to a dollar general. I grabbed 2.5 days worth of food and headed to an outfitter. Outdoor 76 was great. They specialize in helping thru-hikers with proper shoe fit. I haven't really had any problems, but they were helpful nonetheless. I couldn't figure out how to wash my toe socks out every night and they helped me devise an ingenious solution. All I have to do is use a ziplock bag and a little soap. Simple and easy. I also picked up some Aqua Mira drops to purify water, my Sawyer Mini filter has been a disappointment. It works well, but takes forever to filter 2L. If you are thinking of buying one, get the regular, not the mini. I also had to buy a new stake for my tarp, I bent one pretty badly last night in rocky soil. I also splurged and bought some fancy dehydrated meals. They are expensive, but high in calories and really tasty. I went with a company that uses all natural ingredients.
Right before I left for the trail I found some old gift cards with money left on them. So my fancy expensive dinners were pretty much free. I'm really excited to try them out.
I ordered pizza and walked to the gas station for a beer. Life is good. My town days go by so fast trying to get everything done. I tried to upload all of the pictures and videos I've taken so far, but that was a huge failure. Maybe next time I'm in town I can find a proper computer and try again.
I still have to repackage all of my new supplies and take another shower. I bought a disposable razor at the gas station. Sometimes, it's the little things in life that are the most satisfying.
"It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way."
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail