PCT Hiker Reunion in Alabama
ECT Day 249&250
Day 249: zero day
This morning I woke up around 7:30am and had coffee in the POC. Then I began a super lazy day of just hanging around. I didn’t even get any writing done or anything. I just laid on a heat pad for most of the day and relaxed.
Over the course of the day, I got all of my gear packed up that I want to send home. I’m getting rid of so much stuff. After that I ate some breakfast. Then I corresponded with someone from the trek about doing an Instagram takeover soon. I’ll basically be making some content and posting it on the trek Appalachian trail page. But I didn’t have good enough service at the POC to make any videos or anything. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time though in the future while I’m road walking.
Another guest checked into the hostel in the afternoon named Jessica. She was an older woman and incredibly nice. Last year she came down here to hike along the Pinhoti Trail. Now she was back to go to some sort of a hiking festival for the Benton Mackaye Trail. It was really nice talking with her over the course of the day. The other guys had left to do trail maintenance early in the morning. So it had just been me in the hostel all day long.
In the evening I made myself a frozen pizza and just kept on lounging. The rest I’ve been able to get this last week had been incredible. I definitely needed this before continuing on to hike another 1700~ miles.
My friend from the PCT, Beer Run, finished the CDT yesterday. It was his triple crown trail too! Such an accomplishment. Then he flew across the country today and is going to be meeting me at the Pinhoti Outdoor Center tonight. He had planned to hike the Florida trail after the CDT. But he’s gonna add on the Alabama road walk and connecting trails so that we can hike together. I’m really excited to have a friend for this last leg of my journey.
The rest of the night I hung out with Jessica, Tigger, and Chuck Norris a bit. I went to settle up for my hat and my night’s stay tonight. That’s when I found out Danny, who is staying at the hostel and doing trail maintenance, paid for my new hat for me! That was so ridiculously nice and we only just met. He was just moved by my story and wanted to help anyway he could. I feel so grateful for all of the incredible people who I’ve met this year and who have helped me along my journey.
Around 7:45pm Beer Run arrived in his Uber. He missed his bus because one of his flights was delayed. So he wound up having to Uber from Atlanta to Sylacauga. We caught up briefly and then everyone got ready for bed. It was so cool to see him again! We met last year on the PCT and then he came and did some trail magic for me back in Erwin, TN on the Appalachian Trail. I think we’re gonna have lots of fun hiking together. Not long after he arrived, I called it a night.
Day 250: zero day
This morning I was up around 7am and had coffee with Chuck Norris and Beer Run. I was thinking that we might be hiking out today. But I’ve been able to rest plenty the last few days. So I left it up to Beer Run. He just finished a 2800~ mile thru hike and then traveled across the country.
We wound up deciding to take the day off. Then we will start the Alabama road walk tomorrow. Beer Run wants to do laundry and resupply before we start. So we hung out in the afternoon and he did his errands. Then around noon Tigger drove us into town so that I could go to the post office and then we could get lunch. I mailed home my enormous box of goodies! Including my current trekking poles which weighed a ton.
My current trekking poles are the same ones that I used in 2017 on my first ever thru hike. They have held up pretty well but are super heavy and quite corroded at this point. Chuck Norris actually gave me a brand-new pair of trekking poles that he had lying around. That was so nice. I’ve mostly been carrying them on my pack these last 2 months. But I need one to set up my tent. And I think that I’ll want to use them in the deep swampy areas in Florida. The ones he gave me are half the weight of my current ones. So they will be way lighter when I do have to carry them around. What an incredible surprise.
Once I mailed everything out Beer Run and I walked around to find some food. We wound up eating at a hole in the wall BBQ place. The food was unbelievably good though. I had one of the best Philly cheese steaks of my life. We took our time there because Tigger was meeting with Kim from the POC. So when they finished up, we would meet back up with her and get a ride back to the POC.
Back at the Pinhoti Outdoor Center I just lounged around for a couple hours. I did a small bit of writing but nothing majorly productive. I know that once we are road walking again, I’ll have plenty of time to write over the course of the day.
Then around 6pm all of us headed to dinner together! Chuck Norris, Tigger, Danny, Beer Run, and I all went in one car and met up with Nathan and Kim who run the POC. We ate at a Mexican restaurant, and it was so great to get to talk to Nathan and Kim some more. It’s wild how people can feel like family after only meeting them a couple of times. That’s the power of the POC in my opinion! Everyone there goes out of their way to make you feel at home. It added so much to the experience of hiking the Pinhoti Trail. And the Pinhoti Trail is a great experience all on its own!
Kim and Nathan treated us to dinner which was so unbelievably kind of them. Then we said our goodbyes and headed back to the POC. I’m so excited to get back to hiking tomorrow.
Back at the hostel I lounged around the rest of the night. And around 8pm another hiker arrived at the hostel. His name was Satelite and he was going to do a section of the Alabama road walk tomorrow. He’s 75 years old and has done more of the ECT over the years than I have! He only had a small stretch of Florida remaining as well as the IAT. Satelite was such an interesting guy and so knowledgeable about the trails he’d hiked. He remembered every little detail and name.
It also turned out that we had a lot of hiking friends in common! This year hiking on the Florida trail Satelite met a bunch of hikers that Beer Run and I both know. It was so fun to talk and share stories about these familiar names. I’ll say it again and again, the hiking community is such a beautifully small world!
We stayed up talking with Satelite for a long time before eventually calling it a night. Tomorrow the three of us will all get a ride out to the Alabama road walk to do some hiking! Satelite will finish the ARW and Beer Run and I will begin it.
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Bon voyage on the next & final leg of your journey!
Good luck on the next phase.
Can’t wait to read about your new adventures
Glad you are allowing for some restorative rest. Looking forward to your next chapter. Thanks for sharing.