Day 31 – Campsite near US19E to Kincora Hostel

25.5 miles, 62,937 steps, 561 stories climbed

427.3 miles, 1,159,829 steps, 11,431 stories climbed
Trail Magic Moments: 19
It feels good to have gotten that kind of mileage in.  Had a rough night last night. The wind rolled in pretty bad at points to wake me up but the real bad part is that my sleeping pad decided to bust on me.  The internal walls that help it maintain its shape popped on me which is something you can’t just fix with duct tape.  It still holds air but now there is just a huge bubble in the middle which just basically causes me to keep falling off it.  I’ll have to get another pad in a few days when I get to Damascus.
I got out of bed early and hit the trail a little before 7am.  I was determined to get to Kincora Hostel so I could sleep in a bed and restock my food supply but I knew that meant a big day so I hit the trail running…so to speak.
I was able to watch the sun rise over a nice bald and there was a side trail a few miles in that brought me to a beautiful waterfall.  I tried writing a note in the dirt to make sure Not Yet and Stretch took the side trail to see it but haven’t had service to see if they saw it.
The trail was a bit more flat today, there was a good deal of up and down but no sustained steep uphills that just wear you out.  I just kept pushing and pushing and when I got to the hostel it was completely empty.
I missed the run to town by a few minutes and only had about a half hour before the grocery store closed. I dropped my bag I. The hostel and hit the road and started to hitch.
My luck with hitching has been pretty good thus far I must say.  The very first car that came by stops and picks me up.  They drove me to town while I sat in the back and played with their dog, waited for me to get groceries and then brought me back to the hostel.  So awesome.
When I got back to the hostel, everyone was back and who was there, both Failure and Silver.  Hadn’t seen Failure in weeks.  We all ate out dinners and caught up on what’s been going on, there were a few other hikers there too.
Now, Kincora Hostel is run by Bob Peoples .  He is a man with a ton of trail experience and even helps in rebuilding the trail.  He was telling us about all that goes into any trail changes.  It takes over three years for a proposed trail change to get started.  First people mark the new trail, then geologists and biologists have to walk the new portion of the trail, the biologists in all four seasons to check for endangered species, also land surveys need to be done and possibly state or federal approval depending on who owns the land.  Crazy amount of work.
Bob runs the hostel in the meantime and is crazy generous.  For a suggested $5 donation you get a bed, shower, laundry, electric, kitchen and free shuttle to town!  That is insane.  The walls of the hostel are covered in pictures from previous thru-hikers with words of thanks and praise.  This place is a staple of the trail.
Now, with a shower and laundry I feel like a new man.  Now time to get some rest and hit the trail again tomorrow! 


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