Oh my goodness! We had a severe weather event last night. As I laid in our Safari Tent, the lightning was never-ending. And then the thunder accompanied it with winds up to 50mph. I have never thought a canvas tent could fly off its platform but last night, I thought we were going to take off and hopefully land in Maine! All I can say is thank goodness, we were not in our tiny single walled tents as we would have been blown off the mountain! And then came the rain. It was the perfect storm, that had potential to knock our socks off!
I woke up to rain. It was on and off, but needless to say, Sid wasn’t feeling the love. Can we just stay here for another day? I could stay here for the rest of the summer but that’s not an option. I talked with Neville and she said our Safari Tent was available for another night and Sid could do a “work for stay” This allows me to slackpack and get some miles in while Sid stays behind and helps at the Hostel. Win-Win for all. Even Sid is relieved as anything around here is better than hiking the trail. I get a ride into town and hike sobo around 11am.
I really like slackpacking and hiking sobo being I see many hikers I’ve missed. The first 2500’ are… you guessed it, straight uphill. The saving grace is it’s in a quasi rainforest and is cool, wet and lush. I see a few of the hikers who didn’t stop at Woods Hole Hostel. We talk, exchange trail stories and continue our different directions. The early trail was smooth, just steep as it climbed 2500’ in as little as four miles, so pretty darn vertical. Thank goodness I was only carrying my daypack!
Once on top, I was on top of a grassy ridgeline that had a few cliff overhangs. The view of the pastureland below and old farm houses was fairytale like. My friend Linda loves these type of views, precariously perched over a deep abyss. I thought of her as I cautiously crawled over to get a photo. My stomach gets all queasy and I had to snap the picture quickly! I’m not sure why this is such a deal breaker for me but even as a kid, I never liked heights of any kind. In Gymnastics, the Balance Beam was the worse. I could do my routine all day on the painted line but put me four feet in the air, game over!
Back to the trail. I’m hiking all by myself. I meet a couple of new faces. There are three Amish Boys, dressed in Docker Pants, Buttoned-up Blue Collared Shirts with Suspenders and Straw Hats. They are fairly shy, and scared by Meat-bees, but so am I. They are hiking for a few days and they must all shop at the same place because their gear is identical just as their clothing. I was sweating out there with the heat and the humidity and these boys must’ve been also. We talk briefly and they headed nobo as I go sobo.
As I’m finishing up the day, I meet a new hiker named Backtracker. That’s an interesting name and he tells me he’s a purist. He hikes every single portion of the trail but he jumps around a bit. So he always needs to backtrack. He’s trying to get to Daleville by Sunday, which is a lofty goal. Now that he’s a New Christian, he wants to be in town on Sundays so he can attend church. I love this plan. He is quite taken back by how God keeps putting people in his path that are Christians and they help him with finding church services. I smile as I know nothing is impossible for our Lord and it’s all by design. We had a great conversation about the trials and tribulations of the trail, the hardships that we endure and how we are being refined into someone glorious that our sweet Jesus can use for his glory. We talked for a bit and continue on in different directions. I sure hope to run into Backtracker again. It always blesses me when I see God’s hand in these Devine appointments. Thank you for introducing me to another Brother in Christ.
I finally make it back to Woods Hole and find Sid looking for frogs. I’m thinking his trail name should be Frognapper as he is always relocating reptiles and amphibians from one pool to another! He saw a gardener snake eat a mouse today. I think we both would be quite content staying here at Woods Hole. All I could think about was taking a shower and getting ready for dinner. Before long, Neville rang the dinner bell and about 12-14 hungry hikers feasted on Pasta Marinara from fresh tomatoes the Amish provided, homemade bread, Black-eyed Peas, Fresh Salad with Croutons and every type of dressing you can conjure up.
After dinner, Sid helped with cleaning up, scraping dishes and storing all the unused Marinara Sauce. Sid is earning his keep. I helped with cleaning dishes and the kitchen counters. It’s nice to be part of this community and I really enjoy helping Neville. She is one compassionate person, has such joy in her heart and does everything with a smile!
Today’s hike was lovely with some challenging terrain, rainforests, cliffhangers, lots of wild flowers and tall grasses that lined the pathway. All these extra special blessings are what makes this trail so unique. The other hikers are definitely a big part of the draw which keeps us on trail. I look forward to reading log entries at Shelters, catching up with hikers from the past and meeting new ones. I’ll be looking forward to the next few days with Frognabber. Grandpa is on his way so his time on the trail is getting shorter. Praying for good weather and flat miles. That’s a big request but my God is bigger!
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8 NIV