Singalongs at Stecoah Wolf Creek Hostel

NOC to Stecoah Gap: After losing my tent poles, my friend Glenna connected me to a trail angel, also named Voodoo, who helped get them back to me! He hiked to Betty Creek to find them and drove them all the way to the NOC! He didn’t want anything in return. God bless people who helped neglectful hikers.

Early in the morning, I went to the community kitchen to chill with a few of the hikers who were getting ready to hit the trail. Voodoo joined me at the table. He scooted closer and said, “You should hangout with me tonight.” I told him I would love that and he said, “But I saw you hanging out with your boy last night—”

“He’s not my boy,” I corrected.

“Well you guys seemed really cuddly.”

“Just because I was with someone doesn’t mean they’re my boy.” I looked at him in a way that suggested, You can have a taste of me, too. I love to share myself.

Back on trail, we met a girl named Gravity who was a former thru-hiker. She offered us trail magic in the middle of the woods—chips, candy and advice for the Smokies. She suggested to pack warmer gear despite the added weight. She concluded with saying the trail only got better from there and that she so badly wanted to experience every step all over again.

Checkmate, Pink and I got a room for the night at Stecoah Wolf Creek Hostel. The owner of the place, Kenny, picked us up at the gap along with three other thru-hiker guys whom we met on the trail.

The vibe of the place felt as though we were coming home to a warm bed after a long day of hard work. We dropped our packs, the boys took a quick shower and then Kenny drove us to the food truck to get some burgers! We all put our orders in and sat at the picnic tables as we waited. With dirt still on my legs, one of the boys looked at me and asked, “You’re not going to shower?” I let out a sigh, looked him dead in the eye and with a seductive tone said, “Nope. I prefer being dirty.”

I noticed one of the guys, Dale, had a knife tied around his waist. I said, “Thats kinda hot.” He said, “You’re kinda hot.” I laughed, “You’re kinda hot, too.” I asked how old he was and he said 38. I said, “Oh, that’s too bad… I’m only into guys that are over 45.” He joked, “Well I was just saying that cause I thought you’d be into 38.”

Kenny drove us to Dollar General. My tramily and my new found friends caused a ruckus in the backseat. They had sing-alongs the entire ride there and Dale, especially, would be able to sing any song on command! Kenny would say, “I like the Eagles and Dale would go, “Wait a minute—On a dark desert highway…cool wind in my haaair!” Pink answered questions for Kenny about trail life and told him about how much of a sausage fest it was—both on trail and in towns. Pink goes, “You can’t have people drinking in hostels either because that’s when shit gets crazy! Especially when it’s like twelve guys and one girl.” I interrupted, “Ooo!! Sounds like my kinda fun!” We all started laughing hysterically, then Pink asked Kenny if we were his favorite hiker group yet and he nodded yes.

When we came home, we ate hot dogs on sandwhich bread and Pink made us all some oven baked pizza rolls. I ate almost an entire family sized box of Apple Jacks and then Dale made me some microwaved popcorn. I walked into Checkmate’s room as I nibbled some kernels from the bowl, rested my head against his shoulder and felt into the peace of my experience.

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