As usual, didn't sleep too well. This was actually the first night I heard legit mice rummaging outside my tent. Once you move and tap your tent, they seem to run away though. They squeak! I also heard weird howls from midnight till like 4a. Mating calls from wild elk. It was five miles to the road today. The first half was all uphill. My legs are tired. And then down to the road. I get to the road around 830a and it was dead. I heard if you walk 2-3 miles south on the road toward town, you can get some service so I started walking. I thought about just sitting at the trailhead to wait but I thought it'd do me no good. My feet hurt on the pavement and sciatica was kicking in. There were basically no cars headed south.
Then finally a truck stops on the way back to trail and is a trail angel named Gary. He's the one w the truck w the couch in the back where he shuttles hikers. I hopped in the back and back to trail we go. He had two other hikers in there already ready to hike again. I sat on the couch w the other hiker and it was breezy. I realized I had walked legit far sort of. And then I was back where I was started. We waited for a few mins but nobody else was headed to town so it was just me and Gary down to trout lake. He retired after working w the forest service and has now lived in TL for 33 years. He loves it there. He dropped me down at the grocery and I took a selfie w him. He's so sweet.
I decided I would do food stuff later so I went to the cafe to get breakfast. The last time I ate there was when we climbed Mt Adams. What a diff feeling. It was pretty busy so it took over an hour for my food to arrive. I got so hungry that I had to pull out a snickers from my food bag so I wouldn't pass it. This man came over to chat w me from Portland. Then I scarfed down my food. It was delicious. I asked for my check and then the man from Portland said he was going to cover my meal. I told him he really didn't need to do that but he insisted. Can't believe a complete stranger would this for another stranger. I really don't deserve all this generosity! I thanked him and his wife and went back to the grocery to get my box.
I saw Gary again sitting on the porch and he was in cute suspenders. I saw ying and Elise resupplying. They met up w her mom yesterday and had a great time hitching in early. I got all my food and things I needed and asked Elise for a ride down to the inn. She dropped me off and I checked into my cute cozy room. Everything was so so clean and precious. They even left a bear w peppermint patties on the bed. I was so happy. I jumped into the shower and the pressure was amazing. Getting a room to myself is always worth every penny to me. I hadn't slept in a bed since pias and before that was at home. I sleep so well in beds. I gathered all my dirty laundry into a trash bag and took it down to the laundry room. Even the washers were nice and new and not even occupied like how college dorms are. Unfortunately their wifi is having issues so I couldn't get much done so I sorted my food. I loved having a huge bed to organize on.
Then I decided to use their bikes they offer back into town. It was awesome!!! It's only .8 miles away but it's amazing to not have to walk that whole way to do errands. I ended up sitting w Gary on the porch for most of the day while using the grocerys wifi which worked awesome. Gary is such a happy man. Everyone in town knows him and he knows everyone. Every time I've seen him today, he's been cuddling these kittens someone had left out to give away. I know he wants to take one home. I want to be like Gary when I retire. He literally devotes most of his time during hiker season shuttling hikers back and forth on trail and loves doing it. He's counted 500 hikers since July this year. We people watched and I couldn't believe how busy it was. Tons of ppl coming in and out of the store. Everything revolves around huckleberries. It was getting late and my photos stopped uploading to my blog so I decided I should go home. I got some frozen burritos to heat up for dinner and said bye to Gary. I told him I'd buy him coffee in the morn.
The bike ride back to the inn was so nice. I want to bike this whole valley. It's so pretty and wide and open. I FaceTime meg when I got back but wifi is bad still. I am now sitting in this queen size bed and am watching the food channel. I'm pretty sleepy and am excited to fall asleep. I don't wanna leave so soon tom.