July 15, 2017
Soldier Creek – Chester (1325.52-1328.82)
Since we were only a few miles outside of town, we took our last opportunity to sleep in on trail before mile-crushing time commences. The miles into town passed pretty quickly, and we were soon at the highway, ready to hitch a ride into town. We normally have really good luck with hitchhiking, but this was probably our most difficult hitch yet. There were tons of cars driving by, but none of them wanted to stop and pick us up. A few people smiled and waved as they drove by, which is always a bit infuriating when you’re trying to get a ride. I get that they’re trying to be friendly, but it almost makes it worse when they give you hope by waving at you and then just keep driving. Another hiker joined us after a while, and we finally did all three get a ride with a really nice local woman.
Pretty much our first stop in town was the Pine Shack Frosty, which has been the talk of the trail due to the fact that they sell a 32 oz. milkshake. We both got the massive chocolate shakes, I got a veggie sub and Gummies got a cheeseburger. It was already a massive amount of food, and then some kind soul apparently decided to buy us each an additional sandwich. The generosity of strangers out here still overwhelms me, but unfortunately my stomach was also overwhelmed by the amount of food I tried to stuff into it, and I was sadly defeated by my milkshake.
We loitered for a while, stealing WiFi from the real estate office next door and waiting for Gummies’ parents to arrive, when they surprised us by showing up right at the restaurant. It was really lovely to get to meet them after hearing so much about them over the last 1000 miles. We headed to the hotel and had our first showers and laundry in a week, which obviously felt amazing. We went out for pizza and then back to the hotel to collapse into the super comfy hotel beds. Zeroing here tomorrow, and then it’s go time!