Fri, August 2
Through the woods to Tony’s Deli, train-shredded poles, and lots of black flies.
I had a hard time sleeping comfortably. I woke with a sore back and headache in the middle of the night and popped a fewAdvil. I wake to my alarm at 6 am but eventually start stirring around 6:30. Oats for breakfast.
Out of camp by 8. Ups and downs on the hills. The usual forest with the occasional view. I run into older southbound section hiker Slingshot who gives me a pair of glasses that Camelback Santa had lost so that I can return them. Spicy passes and detours for a deli that I skip. I walk by a hiker just packing up his camp. He catches me after a little while – a young guy named Kodachrome with a swedish ish accent. He’s doing 25-27mpd so I give him CamelBak Santa’s glasses.
I stop at the Morgan Stewart shelter for a short break. Then Gravy and Ridge Runner and Tumbledoor catch up. Biscuit has left the trail, her mom picked her up this morning. Then Florida Man, Sawyer, and another hiker show up too. I hike on. Aiming for another 10 miles to camp behind a deli. Strange. But true. What the AT lacks in views it makes up for in delis. The mileage is right, so sure, ok. I see two deer bounding through the woods. A few snakes. A rabbit. Frogs. Nuclear Lake.
My feet are tired and I take a break. Gravy passes. I hike on and Ridge Runner goes past too. Hike along a boardwalk through a bird sanctuary. A blue heron. I cross the train tracks and wait at the platform for Tumbledoor with Gravy and Ridge Runner and another hiker named Doudge. Tumbledoor arrives. The train approaches and we scramble back from the platform. It doesn’t slow. It just blares it’s loud horn. It careens by and I feel something hit my leg – what was that? Tumbledoor’s poles were too close to the train, so they got sucked in by the air then spit right back out, in multiple pieces. It was the tip of one of the handles that’d collided with my leg. Dang. Good thing nobody got impaled.
I walk the 0.7 miles to Tony’s Deli, conveniently located between a busy loud road and the train tracks. Not much sleep in the forecast for tonight! A handful of SOBOers are there, too. Some from Ohio, others from Asheville NC. I eat a veggie deluxe wrap, a french crueller, and a cream soda. I think I must have gained 5 pounds already… Ice cream sandwich and a Blue Moon tall boy. I sit around and chat with G&RR&T until the late hour of 8:30pm before turning in to listen to the road and train noises…