Day 38: Dry Bumping and Biker Gangs

Weird Dreams and Breakfast

I did a lot of dreaming last night. The most memorable one was where I was yelling at my dad for his insistence on me grabbing another hiker’s battery pack and to use their four digit pin so he can access it to monitor my progress. Makes no sense.

I woke up at 6:30 once again and started getting ready for the day. That was motivation for the others to get up as well. I had packed up my stuff the night before, so it wasn’t long before I was heading to the barn to grab something to eat.

I already had some baby food and a banana, so I ate that first. I then got two pancake and sausage sticks. I was still hungry, so I had a pack that had two muffins. I should be fine. That was over 1,000 calories. We cashed out and Amy handed me clippings of her aloe vera plant. My chafing needed to be addressed. I planned on a zero in Erwin to let it heal.

Hiking to No Business Knob Shelter

A few minutes later, we were off to Spivey Gap. I read on the way to the gap. Once there, we got some pictures and headed out. It was immediately clear to me that my calves were, once again, locked up. It took about ten minutes for them to relax. My pace quickly improved.

Photographer credit: Tag-A-Long

I ended up catching up to Fine Young Buck and we conversed for most of the eleven mile hike. Part way there, we caught up to Hawaii and the conversation continued. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, we were at No Business Knob Shelter. In two hours, we hiked five miles. Sweet Relish was there and he said, after I told Hawaii that I dry bumped powdered electrolytes, that after I leave camp, there are hikers who ask “Did that really just happen?” It has been a conversation that has come up frequently and I never knew. I may have a new trail name: Dry Bump. We stopped for a quick snack before rushing out to avoid the bugs. They were bad.

The gang all eating a snack before continuing on.

Erwin, TN

With Fine Young Buck, Hawaii, and Kea in tow, we hiked together, keeping the conversation going. We did break up a bit when we encountered a long uphill climb, though. Hawaii plowed on, Kea passed me when I stopped for water, and I passed Fine Young Buck when he stopped to do something on his phone. I hiked alone from there.

I listened to some music and called my sister. Pretty soon after, I could see Erwin. The trail down to town was great. There were switchbacks and the grade was nice. I was in town half an hour later. I hiked eleven miles in four and a half hours. I was very proud of myself.

Uncle Johnny’s Hostel

Our heavy packs were hanging at Uncle Johnny’s Hostel, but we were staying the night. The hostel was designed to be very social, but I wasn’t impressed with the bunks. If I had known what it looked like, I would have tent camped. There would be no zero in Erwin. I would continue on. The bugs were bad there too.

A shuttle was leaving for town at five, so we hung around and cleaned out our packs. Fine Young Buck did a shakedown for Hawaii and we all watched. I searched on FarOut a place to camp for tomorrow, but wasn’t finding a good site. The elevation gain was significant. As 4:00pm approached, it was made known to us that there was free ice cream in the freezer. Hawaii and I were quick to respond. It was great, even if it was half melted. We also made the decision to linger tomorrow. We’d get to sleep in, do a resupply tomorrow, and go to the gear store. We would just head to the nearest shelter northbound – which was about four miles away. I was happy with that decision.

Biker Gang

A little after 4:00, we were too hungry to wait for the shuttle. Uncle Johnny’s Hostel had bikes on hand, so a gang of six people biked to the only non fast-food restaurant open (why do we always get to towns on Sundays or Mondays?). It was a mile away. It was fun – I love riding a bike.

The restaurant was attached to a gas station and we hoped the food would be good. Mexican restaurants and gas stations don’t seem to mix. It was good. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a renewed liquor license. That was a major letdown. Beer was still available though. Gross.

Hiker Hunger, Don’t Fail Me Now!

Between Sweeper, Kea, and I, we went through three baskets and bowls of chips and salsa. When the actual food arrived, I could only eat half of mine. The rest was going to be breakfast. Unfortunately, I also ordered fried ice cream because I was confident in my hunger. I ate it, but it was a struggle. I still had to bike back.

The three who got beers ordered two pitchers and were steadily getting drunker. I was falling asleep in my chair. I had to get up. So I did and biked back.

At the hostel, I lounged around in a chair and watched as the others biked back. A table of people all had alcoholic drinks and my dinner group joined them and continued drinking.

Dead Battery

I merely read before getting ready for bed. My social battery was drained. I’m an introvert and I was tired with the constant conversations. I couldn’t wait to wake up slowly tomorrow – even though I knew I would wake up at 6:30. I climbed to the top bunk and had to sweep dirt and leaves off the mattress. There were no sheets. I really should have just slept in my tent.

I read and laid on the mattress. The aloe vera Amy gave me were placed on my chafed thighs. I hope this helps. I wasn’t awake for much longer.

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