Hitching Back to AT and Dancing at Taco Bell

March 10 2023, Dick’s Gap to Plumorchard Gap: After I finished the Foothills Trail, I started my hitch back towards Dick’s Gap. A guy in a Prius drove by and did a u-turn to pick me up. He was a sweet, young blonde who appeared to be in his early twenties. When I hopped in, I noticed his car was scattered with dirt, the mirror on the outside passenger door was completely destroyed—wires hanging in place of where the mirror used to be. Upon getting in the car, he quickly asked if I wanted to visit his hippie commune in which I immediately blurted out “no.” Normally, I would be all about going to a hippie commune, but it felt like Spirit had the decision made for me before I even had time to think about it. He told me about his Turkish wife and asked me to speak Lithuanian to see if I was truly fluent. He gave me the address to his commune and told me it wasn’t going anywhere and that I was welcome anytime I would be passing through.

Next guy who picked me up was a 48 year old man. He was handsome, lean and tall. He had rectangular glasses and a sweet way about him—reminded me of a teacher. He asked for my advice on whether or not the girl he started seeing was a gold digger. He goes, “I feel like a 27 year old who has experienced so much in life would be able to see this situation with better eyes.” He said he really liked her and felt she was the one, then dropped me off and said if he wasn’t seeing her, he would totally be coming onto me. As I was grabbing my pack, he said, “I find you very attractive.” I smiled and said, “I find you very attractive, too” followed by “see ya” and I shut the door.

Walked down a neighborhood road and saw some goats. A woman saw me hitching and told me to be careful because a lot of young women have been murdered around the area. I thanked her for watching out for me. Shortly after, I got picked up by a pastor who lived close to Neels Gap. As soon as he stepped out of his car, he asked if I was going back to the AT. Divine Timing. During the ride, we opened up to each other about our belief systems and ways in which we desired to change our minds for the better. He drove me to Taco Bell and bought me some steak quesadillas. I squealed when I remembered that they served Baja Blast, so I did a little happy dance as I poured myself a drink. I smiled and moaned in enjoyment as I took in every bite. He said he had never seen someone enjoy Taco Bell so much. Hiker hunger was on the horizon.

Visited Hostel Around the Bend again to say aloha to the folks. I brought them back some pinecones I collected from the Foothills Trail. Hunter started picking the pine needles out from in between the petals and I yelled, “No! That’s part of it!”

I emitted excitement when I saw Terry again. He goes, “Can you stop being so happy?!” I did a little overview in my mind of the past few months. I remembered how just under a month ago (and the entire winter) how depressed I felt. I wondered why I self-sabotaged myself by going back to a place that I loathed, just to spend time with family. And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved spending time with my family—it was very important to me—but not worth sacrificing my own happiness. I then noticed how I felt when I was on trail. Genuinely joyful and giddy—felt as if I was laughing 99% of the time. Sometimes, it took me a while to put two and two together and to accept the fact that I preferred to live a simple life.

I taught Lennon how to do block therapy as I waited for my power bank to charge up. Hunter and Lennon bought some of my sexy macramé pieces to surprise their wives for their anniversary. I was always so grateful for those who wanted to support me through trade or buying a piece of my artwork.

After getting my last dose of relaxation, I got dropped off at Dick’s Gap to continue north with a few other hikers. Lennon took a group photo of us before we left, along with a quick selfie of him and I together, then I was on my way up the hill.

Ran into Hunter on my walk up and he thanked me for bringing positive energy to his hostel. I told him it was the hostel that brought it out of me and thanked him for providing a hiker haven along the trail. He said he picked up on the vibe that I lived a very nomadic life and told me I was free to visit anytime I needed a shower or a place to stay. God bless the angels I met along the way—this type of lifestyle would not be possible without their generosity.

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