I didn’t sleep well last night, which has fortunately not been happening very much since the beginning of the trail…no matter, I made some coffee and read a bit of my e-book (another of Paul Theroux’s books, a new collection of short stories) and waited until the day was a bit lighter to pack up and hike the few miles to the highway.
The morning was COLD and I slowly watched the sun warm the land behind me, but the spot i was hitching from would remain in the shadows for a while. It was early on a Sunday morning and there just wasn’t much traffic heading towards Dubois. I finally got a ride from the host of Brooks Lake Lodge, a spot I would be hiking by in a few days.
She dropped me off in the middle of town, and I headed to the Cowboy Cafe for a bit of breakfast and to figure out the day. After my pesto and eggs I met Benjamin, the first real southbounder I’ve met so far, he informed me Buck 30 should be in town today…I was stoked to catch up with him, we first met on the Appalachian Trail 13 years ago, and he has done a good job of making backpacking a priority over the years and has racked up something like 25,000 miles! He found me at a coffee shop across the way, and we talked the talk of most thru-hikers, trail conditions, hiker gossip, other hikes we’d like to do, etc.
The three of us headed down to the Wind River Motel where we got rooms for the night, and then we spent the afternoon scraping off the dirt in the shower, laying around watching cable, and sitting on the front stoop just hanging. I met Treebo who was another flip-flopper, and after dinner (again at the Cowboy Cafe) we saw a whole crew of hikers arriving….Carrot, Spark, Track Meat, and #2 who I hadn’t seen since Durango! I thought he was in front of me, but he had gotten off for a week to go home for a visit.
We didn’t hang out too long, my incredibly full stomach required me to get horizontal in my room. Tomorrow morning I’ll head to the health clinic to see about what is going on in my gut. I felt ok today, but that has been one of the main issues, the coming and going of my stomach pain…I’m still convinced something may be living in my belly.