Total Miles: 1261.0
This is going to be a very short post as I fight the sleep that is beginning to hang on my eyelids, but the uneventful miles today quickly morphed into a most unexpected evening. Three miles before a road crossing in the late afternoon, a handwritten sign placed next to the trail described a family that was offering to host thru-hikers for the night, a mere two mile walk down the road. Since we had planned to find camp near the road crossing anyway, it was an easy decision to walk down the road and check the place out. What we found was so much more then we could have imagined.
Nancy and Terry have been very quietly hosting hikers with their family for eight years at their getaway cabin here in the mountains, but we were quickly brought up to speed that it wasn't simply a place to rest your head—they had a shower, laundry, free soda and beer, and prepared a full home-cooked dinner in the evening and breakfast in the morning for all hikers who had found their way here. A campfire now glows just off the deck from where at least a dozen hikers had gleefully indulged in Nancy's dinner of chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, zucchini casserole, garlic bread, and brownies. My only thought as I reflect on this yet another unsolicited act of incredible generosity is not only to be grateful, but to earn these kindnesses and to hold their memory close. They are reminders of the very best in people.