Always rely on the kindness of strangers

So things have been tough lately. Pennsylvania was rocktastic, just as the rumors warned. My feet begin to throb about halfway through each day. For some reason, I was under the impression that it got really easy after you left PA, not so. The D.A. and I set the dial to 25 miles a day, thinking it would be cake, but now, 4 days later, we’ve done 25, 25, 22, 16, and who knows what tomorrow will bring. We feel like we’ve been brutally beaten with an ugly stick. We’ve had to face more technical stuff then ever, involving trying to keep 3 points holding on to rock at all times, so as not to slip and break yourself. And to top it off, it’s been rainy, and we’ve been somehow managing not to get into camp until dark. I have not been a happy camper these last few days. One huge mistake I have made is that of not switching shoes before it was too late, I’ve put 1370 miles on one pair of Keens, and they certainly aren’t what they use to be in the field of foot support.

To top things off, it’s been rather stormy today. We were on a frightening slippery ridge, completely exposed today, when we heard the severe storm sirens going off in the nearest town. Not anywhere I wanted to be!

But our luck changed instantly. We came to a cooler full of drinks and snacks, with a business card on top that read, “Need a warm bed? Shower? Hungry for some home cooking? Call this number…!” Needless to say, we called the number. And an hour later, we were picked up by a nice fellow named John, and taken to his beautiful home, with hickory flooring and two spare rooms that the three of us our enjoying thoroughly! We showered, did laundry, and were fed and amazing home cooked meal. I cannot express my gratitude for this wonderful couple, Susan is the woman. They even let me drink a delicious Belgian beer. And hanging out with them somehow felt like hanging out with people we’ve known for years. Honestly, I hope Jesse and I can be the same kind of deal for hikers someday. We could even start now, since our home in Montana is right on the final stretch of the Continental Divide Trail in Glacier. In fact, I’m sure I will try to do at least a little trail magic when I return, for all 15 of the CDT thru-hikers.

So anyway, things are great! Just 810 miles to go. I’ve got a phone now, but I’ve lost all of my contacts, so if it’s convenient, I’d love to get text messages from people, just saying who they are so I can program them in. My number is 218-330-0404. And a big thank you goes out to Anthony, Sue, Dad, Karen, Ron, Carla, and Darren for the recent care packages. They are awesome! Thank you so much!

That’s all for now. I’m excited for a great visit from Tammie coming soon, and a zero with Tide’s parents the next day! New England is so near, I can almost smell the clam chowder! TTFN!

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