We woke up at the Mansion Hostel at 6 AM with the power out. I hardly slept because the fourteen person bunk room was nearly full of hikers with various gastric issues arising out having just done the half gallon ice cream challenge. To say that it was a symphony of night time music is to not put a crass enough spin on the reality of my smelly, sleepless night. My morning shit, such as it was, was such that I think the intestinal parasites have finally been routed. My fourteen bunk mates I cannot speak for. Mishap, dispite being lactose intolerant, attempted the challenge with the assistance of a handful off lactaids. I will not bore or horrify you with the results of that folly other than to say that she was heard, but not seen, for the remainder of the evening.
So we finally got on the trail at 930 with the weather continuing to spit at us. Mishap, Hobo, and I embarked with another arranged slack pack– twenty miles to Boiling Springs. The hiking was again easy in the morning and we quickly hammered out eight miles as the weather cleared. Despite the warmer temperatures I was , again, feeling stronger than I had felt in some time. Listening to Mishap explain, in endless gory detail, how it was discriminatory not to have dairy free alternatives for people with her “disability”, did not come close to ruining what was shaping up to be a good day.
The day further improved when we discovered a deli at a road crossing around lunch time. I pigged out on everything but the ice cream. We gorged our selves and, in full hiker trash style, topped in off with the three of us napping out in front of the deli on the lawn. But after a restful 30 minutes and more than a few audible snide comments from lunch crowd customers, we packed up and were back on the trail.
By late afternoon the heretofore easy trail turned into a very unexpected four limb bouldering exercise. That lasted for about two hours and really slowed our pace down. We finally rolled into the campground around 830 with just enough light to pitch our tents before hiking the one mile into town for a meal at at nearby tavern. We got back to the campground by 1030 and retired for the evening. A very good day. We will go into town for resupply and then hike out around noon tomorrow. Happy trails.