April 5, 2004
Miles To Go
April 5, 2004
Miles To Go
I woke up in a comfortable bed, read for a while (while munching chocolate covered pretzels), then went downstairs at 8:30 to a heaping breakfast of organic food. We had pancakes, granola, and all kinds of toppings. Ahh. 5 big pancakes and a bowl of granola and I am stuffed. Only 5 pancakes? Remember, I had pretzels for an appetizer!
I took care of errands at the post office (lots of thanks to Heather & Melicca, Mom and Dad, Margaret & Phil, and Patti!) Then to the outfitters & laundry. After nearly losing my fingers in the Smokies, I picked up some sealskins waterproof gloves. Also replaced my useless ALDHA companion (well, the 1/2 I used for a fire starter was actually pretty useful) with the Thru-hikers Handbook. I don’t like the attitude of the author, but it does the best job as a thru-hikers guide. I’ve been without camp shoes—something to wear in camp and town other than boots—since the beginning of the trip in an effort to save weight. But I finally picked up a pair of Waldies, 9 oz molded plastic shoes like Crocs and it’s been great getting out of the boots!
I went over to the natural hot springs and shared a hot tub with the crew in the afternoon. 102 degrees for an hours melted a few aches. I’ve been nicknamed “Grimace” by Green One and Rockhound ‘cause of the look on my face when I stretch my calves.
I was able to connect with my friend Rog while doing laundry. Rog is a college roommate and current high school Phys Ed. teacher. I coach and play volleyball with him as well. He’s luckily also been a track coach for years and gave me a new stretch to try to work on my shin splints. He also said my IT band tendonitis is likely mostly over. Everything’s strengthened up at this point. It would be so nice to hike without pain!
Dinner was awesome at Elmer’s. All the food is either grown on their 2-acre organic farm or bought at the local Co-op. We had a 4-course meal of black bean soup, an enormous salad (I crave greens more than anything at times) w/ tahini & miso dressing, and lasagna and shepard’s pie. All vegetarian and a citrus pie with mint-ish tea for dessert, oh—it cost $8, $8!! Heather paid more for a single martini in NYC this past weekend!
Stay at Elmer’s with its amazing library, music room, cool people. It’s the place in Hot Springs! Among my dinner companions were a couple who had stayed and attended past events there; Bob’s a chiropractor who runs a single room, no reservation/appointment office on the honor system (Leave your money under the rock on the way out! His wife, Lydia, is a master gardener and herbologist who passed along some great insights.
I finally got some much needed phone time with Heather (Tally—stop eating pens!) and then packed up for an early exit Tuesday morning.