Date: 25 Jan 2018 06:59PM EST
Location: Camping near mile 444.8
Today's Miles: 15.8
Total Miles: 444.8
Slept OK last night until I didn't. I'm not sure if it's just my body telling me it's finished sleeping, or something I'm not aware of, but sometimes I wake up early in the morning well before first light and just can't get back to sleep. Tossing and turning, switching sides, nothing helps. Don't have a watch with me so I'm not sure what time it's happening, but I guess next time it happens I'll just pack up and leave, and be on my way earlier than expected.
Met up with some friends of the family's parents today. Arrived at out rendezvous point two hours early, so I attempted a hitch into town to save them the extra driving and give me some time to chill out somewhere other than the side of a busy road without cell signal.
An hour of many cars and not a single bite, I stopped thumbing and just gave up. Soon there after a nice couple pulled over and offered me a ride. I told them where I needed to go, a mere eight miles down the road, and they agreed. Two miles in they kicked me out because they were turning and going somewhere else, with no amount of money being sufficient to take me the six miles (ok, twelve in total), out of their way.
This has happened every single time I've attempted to hitch in this state. It's pretty bizarre.
Every few minutes or so I'd get a tiny bit of signal, so I shot off a text message or two to try and change the linkup - we eventually managed to find each other, but it definitely wasn't easy neither of us having met before.
We traveled the rest of the way into the town of Astor, and I had one of the biggest, messiest, cheesiest meals of my life. Huge burgers, tons of fries, smothered and caked with cheese - it was pretty epic. I ordered in moderation and *still* couldn't eat it all, packing a burger out on top my pack.
The friends then drove me back to the trail after a few hours of food and conversing. As I was loading up they surprised me with a subway sandwich, a box of cookies, a bunch of crackers and peanut butter and some extra granola bars. They were absolutely on top of things and it now makes perfect sense why their daughter, our family friend, is as squared away as she is as well.
Tried to kick it into gear in the afternoon to make up miles, but it wasn't in the cards. Bumped into a hiker and we chatted for a mile, then ran into someone who hiked the AT in the 70's walking his dog, so we chatted for a bit as well. Sixteen miles isn't anything to shake a stick at, by when the limiting factor out here being the amount of sunlight and not terrain, every minute counts.
Even so, hiked on and into the late afternoon, a chill in the air, the sun low in the sky turning orange and then red.
A good day, regardless of miles. Need to start planning where I'll be for pickup on Saturday afternoon to be kindly shuttled by a trail angel back down to the town of Oviedo for Sunday's Billy Goat Day.