Well, the Dragons Tooth brought my worsening foot situation to a head. It was some really tough climbing over very technical boulders and cliffs. The climbs down required significant bracing and long jumps down. My infected toe was in agony every time I had to jump down on it. The section of difficult bouldering went on for a couple of miles. When we finally got through it (I was hiking with Winnebago), the hike down from the mountain was four miles and was over serious rocks the entire time. The weather was dry and hot. As I neared the bottom in significant agony, I noticed the four pines hostel on the map. I had only gone 8 miles, and it was only 1:00 o’clock, but I told Winnebago sianara and walked the half mile to the hostel. Twenty two miles was ludicrous at that point.
I got to the hostel and found quite a few hikers already there. The shuttle pulled up and my friend Medicin Man was driving. I thought he was four days ahead. Turns out that he got hurt and had been at four pines for three days. It was a “donation” Hostel that was sort of run like a commune. A huge three bay garage was fitted with cots and a series of couches. I shoed the chickens away and looked inside and concluded that tenting out back would be best.
Medicine Man shuttled me to a convenience store for beer and relatively set. Red Eye helped me perform some hiker surgery on my foot with a minerature leather man tool. After some cutting and puss draining she produced some neosporin from her pack. After an epsom salt soak we applied the antibiotic and dressed it. Good to go, right? Two factions of weed smoking hikers then debated whether I should participate in a 26 mile slack pack into Daleville in the morning, or take it easy and hike it in two bites. Since I’d been drinking I elected to sleep on the question and see how the toe felt in the morning. I pitch my tent in the back by a visiting troop of boy scouts who were obviously being kept away from the weed fest in the front– no merit badge for bong hits is available these days apparently.
I joined in the festivities and was treated to a number of old friends rolling in including Redwood, Wild Card, AAA, Trouble, and Bambi Face. The hostel was fun as shit and lived up to its reputation of being a “zero” black hole where people get sucked in for multiple days.
I resolved to bug out in the morning and try to make Daleville. Happy trails.