Just had a few stories/anecdotes that make me pause and smile from our CDT hikers – three more arrived last night. They can be more time intensive than other guests (and so grateful!) as they need to know where things are, exactly. They aren’t going to drive around and find it. Often they don’t have a GPS or phone. They are going to walk or hitch there, so be exact. Despite the time ‘investment’ I LOVE the interaction and conversation! They are so interesting and real. I love real. I will miss this interraction when Jim and Mary get home. They will be the ‘greeters, the ‘go tos’ and we will become off duty workampers and get back to our own projects, life trail.
The hikers also want to know what we have they need (I keep forgetting to ask what they use HEET for) and if we don’t have it, where they can go to get a movie, food, camp fuel, water filters, street clothes. You might try to imagine – after 5 months on trail having a DVD on site to watch the first movie of the summer is pretty exciting or even watching cable! Try not being a resident and getting a DVD rental. Difficult. “Puck” shared with me last night his experience at the local store, “just fill out the form and we will have someone review it on Monday and let you know”. By Monday, he may be long gone. We set him up with a DVD player and Magnificent Seven and Life of PI, he was thrilled! Hope he didn’t’ fall asleep in the middle of them.
The hikers come in and usually want three things right away – lots of carbs, laundry and a shower often in that order. Some desire sleep after the food before laundry and the shower. After 25-30 miles a day ‘just walking’ as they call it, real sleep is a luxury. It is not uncommon to have hikers here walking back and forth from cabin to laundry with a towel wrapped around them. Most have rain gear and wear that while everything else is in the washer. We have loaned clothes so they could wash AND go to town. The Post Office is a necessary stop and if it is close to closing time, they HAVE to get there so they can get back on trail with the additional food, shoes, etc etc that they ordered at the last town and had shipped. My favorite that makes me smile is the New Zealander who made his trips to the laundry in a towel wrapped around the bottom half of his body and a garbage bag over the top. I wish I could remember what he called the garbage bag. He made at least three trips across our parking lot that way and each time I had a chuckle. Last night one of the hikers was putting the last of his clothes in the washer as I approached the laundry. I could only see him from the waist up, I called to him and he disappeared, streaking across the hall and as I came to the doorway, the door closed and locked to the showers. I do believe we had our first streaker!
I gave a couple of ripe pears and a couple of apples to Mark, one of the guys to come in, last night. From his smile, you would have thought I gave him a steak. He said it is often difficult to even find a fruit in some towns. It is huckleberry and ting berry season here in the mountains. He said he got himself into trouble as he filled his water bottle with huckleberries and didn’t have a place for his water! He had to eat them all at once which created another problem after a bit when he hadn’t had any fruit in awhile. Oops!
We recycle everything here but we have no way to recycle the worn out hiking shoes we get, just the boxes from the new ones. Some of them are beyond worn out, duck tape and all! Hope these visuals gave you a smile or a grateful thought as you shower, eat breakfast and relax in your easy chair. Sorry, I have not thought to take pics, I will do better! You can google CDT hikers 2013 and see some amazing photos.