Day 7: May 23, 2023 Boiling Springs to Darlington Shelter Elevation +1528/-951 Miles 14.3/110.4; 1148.6

Lisa’s Hostel was nice and cozy. I was the only one there for the night. It’s something special to have a place to lay out all your gear, clothing, food and stuff. Just me, myself and the Holy Spirit. Lisa and her husband Sean live in the house. She’ll come out and check on me, make sure all is well and goes back to her space. It works well. This morning, move out time is 8am. That works fine being the Post Office doesn’t open till 9am. We hit the road and she drops me off at Cafe 101. The only restaurant in town.

Hungry Hikers at Cafe 101

I walk inside and Won’t Get Up-Will and a new hiker that I haven’t met is sitting with her. They invite me for breakfast as they just got there too. Before I know it, the table is full of hikers, six of us in all. It’s great getting to meet new hikers daily. Ends up the three that just sat down started two days before me in Harpers Ferry. I’m sure we will all be hiking around each other as I saw the three of them a couple of days ago at the Half-Gallon Challenge. Everyone orders tons of food, like they are getting ready for battle. In a sense, I guess we are.

Leaving Boiling Springs

The conversation was, are you getting off trail to take a Zero? I’ve decided I’d rather take Nero’s (half days off) as my body seems to prefer that more than an entire day off (Zero). I’ll see. That can always change. My only concern at this point is getting to the Post Office to retrieve my very important and must have, new inflatable mattress. We all devour more food than is humanly possible and I head to the PO. Won’t Get Up-Will is doing the same. She has her resupply box waiting.

Typical Pennsylvania Farmhouse

Will gets her box and I get a blank stare. The guy behind the counter is confused why my Overnight Express Box is still in Sacramento. Well that makes two of us. Shelly, the gal who I talked with the day prior has little hope that I’ll be getting my box today or tomorrow. So, sad faced and all, I call home. George is covering the Cafe at Bayside while I’m gone, and promises to get to the bottom of this. The wrath of George is a fierce reckoning that one doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of. Thanks babe for going to battle for me.

Many Step Ladders in Help Access Private Property

I call one of the local drivers in town Michael. He was recommended by Lisa for a ride or slackpack options. Michael who is well known at the PO, and I come up with a plan. Once my box arrives, he will transport it to me, wherever I happen to be. Now that’s better service than the PO and I betcha he won’t charge me $65. Problem solved. Now I just wait.

Nice Flat Trails along Tall Grasses

Heading back to the trail is the best part of my day. It’s flat, mostly shaded and all my worries disappear. The new lady I met at the restaurant is right behind me. We start talking and her trail name is “Couch to Trail.” No explanation required. She just lost both her Mom and Dad this past year. She felt that she had to do something to process her grief, so both her and her husband started in February at Georgia. After two weeks, her husband lost interest but she continued on. She’s been off and on due to injuries but she has all intentions of getting to Mt Katahdin by mid-August. She’s feisty enough that I’m sure she’ll make it happen,

Couch to Trail on the Boardwalk

Couch to Trail is a Christian. Yeah! I have my people out here. We shared our stories of my losing my Mom and her, both parents. It was such a blessing to meet someone out here that understands the pain and loss that we both are experiencing. It’s interesting how the Lord has placed these powerful women amidst this trail. Won’t Get Up-Will is carrying her fathers ashes with her. She’s retracing the route her and her father did in the early 2000’s. We all have stories if we just take the time and share them.

Graffiti along the Way

Around 2pm, we make a left tun onto the Highway and I see this picnic table and a Milk/Bee Stand. It’s a Shed that has a Refrigerator/Freezer and another Stand-up Cooler for drinks. It’s called Trail View Market and they sell Homemade Ice Cream along with Raw Milk, Farm Eggs, and other items that hikers, and locals desire. Oh my, no one’s tending the place and it’s all on the Honor System. There’s a cash box with a notebook. Write in your purchase and place the money in the box.

Trail View Market

I proceed to have a small container of Cookies and Cream. As soon as I taste it, I realize this is homemade ice cream. It melts in your mouth and you are craving more. I can’t help myself, and go back for another container of Vanilla, Couch to Trail gets Chocolate and two other older guys show up and indulge.

Titus and Joshua – Super Awesome Kids

Then these two young boys show up. They are Mignonettes and are part of the family that own this store. The older boy Titus tells me his older sister makes the ice cream. He apologizes that he doesn’t have any Chocolate Milk because they are out of glass bottles. Oh, I have a plastic bottle. Would you be able to get me some? You know it. He says he just needs about five minutes and he’ll be back with my Chocolate Milk. Titus and his brother Joshua run off barefooted, with my bottle and before you know, they are back with Cold Raw Chocolate Milk. I tell you, it was the best Chocolate Milk I’ve ever had. It wasn’t so sweet. Titus tells me that’s because they want the customers to taste the milk too! These boys are so smart, and going to be great business men. We talked for quite some time, about life on the Dairy Farm with his ten brothers and sisters, five of each. It doesn’t sound like Momma is done anytime soon since Grandma had 19 children! I think they are gonna need to get some glass bottles to support all them kids. What engaging boys indeed. I had such a great time talking with the two of them.

Couch to Trail & Our Homemade Ice Cream

We still had more miles to hike so we took off through the Dairy Fields. it was hot, exposed walking through the grasses. Luckily, within a mile or so, we headed back into our Green Tunnel and the temperature dropped 10-15 degrees. Thank you trees!

I Can See The Light – The Many Tunnels

I had a pretty spectacular day today. Lots of new people I met and I’m thinking I’m in the right bubble for now. I made it to camp around 6pm and erected my tent, I crawled in it, bathed the best I could with wet-wipes and made Cilantro Chicken with Rice. I had some green tea and was snug as a bug in a rug, except for my back. I tell you, when that mattress arrives, I’m gonna to a hip hap happy dance and I just might take a Zero in my tent laying on my mattress for 24 hours! I can’t wait! This Z-Lite pad is for children, but grown adults require more cushion for their mushion. Okay that might not be a word but you get the picture. For now I am ever-so-grateful for what I have. Shelter, Food & Water, and a wonderful place to lay my head for the night.

5 thoughts on “Day 7: May 23, 2023 Boiling Springs to Darlington Shelter Elevation +1528/-951 Miles 14.3/110.4; 1148.6

  1. Amazing report today, Kelly! So sorry about the challenge of getting your sleeping pad. I’ll text George to make sure he is not incarcerated for pummeling the whole staff at the post office!
    The part about the ten boys from the mom whose mother had 19? Wow! I want to go there just for the ice cream!


  2. Amazing report today, Kelly! So sorry about the challenge of getting your sleeping pad. I’ll text George to make sure he is not incarcerated for pummeling the whole staff at the post office!
    The part about the ten boys from the mom whose mother had 19? Wow! I want to go there just for the ice cream!


  3. Sounds trying but wonderful – such wonderful
    People you get to meet especially those young boys.! Ice cream must be fantastic ! Love your stories – living vicariously through you my dear,love and hugs and stay safe and hopefully comfy soon.🥰


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