No breakfast. No coffee. On the count of three, we break down camp and hike out of here like yesterday didn’t happen. I did filter out a couple bottles of muck water before we left, and they tasted as bad as drinking muck water sounds. It’s amazing how much less water you need when camp consists of setting up and passing out. In a normal camp, we are drinking water to hydrate, using it to cook food, coffee, and using it to clean our feet etc. It ends up being about 8 liters, and then I still have to fill them back up before we start the hiking day.
The best plan we had to start the day was little more than hope meets wish. We could see on the map that there was a small town after only 3 or 4 miles of hiking and that town had a Campground.
Our bodies were actually feeling pretty great after the shenanigans of yesterday. Feet were dirty but shoes were dry. It turns out, sometimes the trail blaze markers lead you through a knee deep bog and knee deep bogs can get a little water in your shoes. We almost put our camp shoes on before walking through but didn’t. It’s true what they say about trail runner shoes, they dry fast.
We arrived at the campground around 0730 and began looking at options. The Campground website said they were not taking non-seasonal reservations but their Facebook page and Facebook messager had differing messages. Brianna successfully reserved a cabin for the evening and we waited for something to happen. The sign on the office door said, “if you have reservations, please go to your site and wait, we will be with you during business hours.” Perfect. We sat at the picnic table for breakfast and coffee and waited.
It wasn’t that we couldn’t continue hiking that day, it was that we wanted a win and a break. There was also the looming wind storm coming later in the evening that seemed likely to bring another miserable night.
We must have waited until around noon before the Campground responded to our Facebook message. They apologized for the differing communications, but they were not accepting reservations until Friday. I tried to explain our situation: hikers seeking shelter, website already accepted our payment. Our message went unread and we decided that all there was left to do was move on. Actually, Brianna and I bickered about the situation and stewed silently for a while before I decided to use the campground’s bathroom to fill up our waters and we walked on.
New plan: find a safe place in the woods to ride out a wind storm? We were defeated, again.
We continued our road walk for about a half mile in silence. I noticed a camper in a driveway that said “Vista Cruiser” on it so I jokingly said, “Brianna, look, it’s a Vista Cruiser! You can literally Cruise the Vista!” Which is a line from one of her favorite “That 70s Show” episodes. Then, a lady popped her head out and said, “what’s that?”. Embarrassed, I attempted to quickly exchange pleasantries and hike on, but she pressed more.
“Are you hikers? Do you need anything?” Brianna explained our situation and within the hour Laurie had offered us a bed in the Vista Cruiser to sleep on, full access to their lake, fishing boat, and she was also going to cook us burgers for dinner. In exchange, all they really wanted was to hear our stories and to tell us theirs. Laurie and Mike (her husband) even had their grand kids over at the time, Brianna tried to teach them Rummy and I lost a few games of war.
I’m filled with gratitude. It amazes me how quickly the pendulum of chance can swing from one extreme to another.
✅Jump in lake
✅Eat Home Cookeed burger & brot
✅Charge phone and batteries
✅Socialize with and trust complete strangers
I don’t usually talk this way, but here goes. Thank you universe. (But mostly – Thank you Laurie & Mike got being the amazing Trail Angels that you are!!)