Last weekend we had the opportunity to host Popeye and Bad Camel for a zero day and to celebrate the 4th of July. Meeting thru-hikers online and reading their journals is one thing, but meeting them in person has so much more meaning. We were blessed to meet these two, hear about their journey so far and learn more about who they are. After picking them up off the trail they joined me and my family for a relaxing and beautiful day. I am always blessed by the fellowship and community of backpackers and hikers. Below is an update from the journal. We look forward to meeting them again, blessed to have made new friends and will continue to pray, encourage and support them.
Next time we meet we hope to see Wrong Way Jalapeno!
This morning we woke up and only had to hike 3.7 miles to get to the parking lot where Brian is picking us up. We packed up quickly and the terrain was easier than we thought it would be so we got there a little before 8:00. We had some time to sit in the sun with a light breeze and dry out our clothes. Brian showed up and it was about an hour & a half ride to get to his parent’s house. We met his parents, Richard and Judy, his brother, Jim, sister in law, Lisa, niece & nephew, Molly & Jackson, Robin, and sister, Maria. And of course the dogs, Skippy, Leelee, and Roxy! We got showered and cleaned up and then joined the family for lunch and dinner and relaxed. Everyone was so nice and it was exactly the day we needed. Being around such kind and positive people was what I needed to revive me and we had a great time. Thank you to Brian and his wonderful family for having us!
They got us a room at the Comfort Inn for the night and this is quite possibly one of the most comfortable beds we’ve had! Tomorrow will be a relaxing morning and we’ll head back to the trail in the afternoon.
Today was the most relaxing morning we’ve had so far on the trail. We had breakfast at our hotel and then strolled over to the grocery store to do a small resupply. Next we just relaxed, watched tv, took showers, and ate Ben & Jerry’s for an early lunch. Brian and Robin took us back to the trail, we said our goodbyes and thank you’s and were hiking at 3:00.
Our plan was to get to Pine Grove Furnace state park at least 30 minutes before 7:00 pm because the grill closes at 7:00. We also were planning on tenting there. It didn’t leave us a ton of wiggle room but the terrain today was some of the easiest we’ve seen in a while and the weather was also much cooler than it’s been recently. The highlight of the hike was passing the halfway point! We got to Pine Grove and had made really good time. We arrived at about 6:15 and went into the store to enquire about campsites. They were unsure if they had any left but they said we could walk over to the camp ground area and see if any were empty. They made it sound like it would be a quick walk but we went probably at least a 1/4 mile and didn’t think we were even halfway there yet. I tried to call the number for the park office to get more info but no one answered. We were really frustrated, not walking to walk a mile out of our way just to find out that there were no sites left. We decided to call the hostel that is right next to the general store. Unfortunately they were closed tonight because a family reunion booked the whole place. They did direct us towards the Holly Inn so we decided to give them a call. The Holly Inn did have a room for us and could pick us up in 30 minutes. We walked back to the general store to wait. On the ride to the Inn, the driver mentioned that there were three other hikers staying tonight. We were excited to learn it was Daddy Long Legs, Baby Steps, and Saybak! We enjoyed a nice dinner with them and had a late bed time (almost 10:00!!). As frustrating as the state park was, we are very glad we ended up here!