Today not only did we have the smoke to contend with, but we were hiking through a section which had burned in 2014. It meant there really wasn’t a lot to see for most of the day, and there was nothing to protect us from the hot sun.
Whilst taking a break in the meagre shade from a burned tree trunk, we met our second southbounder Green Mile. He observed that all the northbounders either know each other or are willing to congregate and get to know each other whilst he didn’t know anyone and was only spending minutes with them as he passed by. I think he felt pretty happy with this more lonely existence, although it could be that the sheer number of northbounders he had encountered was moderately annoying.
Just as we reached the road to Etna we heard the sound of a car up the road and ran, thumbs out, to the side of the roadway. Rich pulled over immediately and offered us a ride into town. He called the motel for us and discovered there were no vacancies, so he offered us his old house, now a hotel, for only a little more than a motel room. The whole place had been booked out by a group arriving tomorrow but he said as long as we were out by 8am we could have the run of the place. Right next to the grocery store, and just up the street from the brewery where we could get dinner, it was ideally located for a fleeting visit. We were allowed to use the laundry, the bathtub, the DVD collection and the deck and garden. After a quick dinner and resupply we settled in for the night with ice cream and hope to be out early in the morning.
Camping: Mile 1606, Etna