Day 102: In The Starting Gate

Started: Ashland (1718.7)

Ended: Tentsite (1732.0)

Total Miles: 13.3

Our goal was to get to the post office, send our boxes, and get to the trail. I was up early, so I decided to take one more walk in Ashland. I wanted a good cup of coffee (and to see if anyone else wanted to give this thru-hiker some money).

The coffee was good, but I think I ran out of luck as far as the free money.

I returned just before we needed to leave for the post office. Nap and Bubbles had enough bags for eight resupplies! I only had two. I offered to carry some of their stuff, but Nap refused. We were going to hitch. I thought he was crazy, but someone picked us up in less than a minute.

While we were addressing boxes, I discovered that one resupply point only accepted UPS or FedEx. We would need to find a store that did that. All this took time, and we needed to check out by 11.

A trail angel named KC saw us an gave us her number for a ride when we were ready.

I found the closest store. It was a bit of a ways away if you were walking, but doable. Nap and I left, and Bubbles handled the post office. I rushed, but that store knew what to do and it went quickly.

I returned to the hostel at 10:45 and started packing my stuff. As a backpacker, that took a whole ten minutes. I was out and sitting in front charging my phone.

About 11:30, Nap calls. There is a problem. Bubbles’ credit card was rejected. They we’re running really late and decided that it would be easier to stay another day. They understood if I wanted to go.

I decided to go. Although we are now ahead of schedule because of moving up, I don’t want to waste that. I hate the decision, but the sooner I start hiking, the sooner I get to Canada.

I called KC, and she picked me up at noon and by 1 p.m. I was on trail.

There are two issues I need to deal with now. First, I’m back in the bubble. There are hikers here. There was 14 hikers waiting at one water source. However, my new found speed means that I am passing them instead of passing me.

Second, there is still smoke, but there is promise that the views will be better soon.

It is good to see and breathe again.

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