What are you up to brother? It's been way too long since we've talked! Did you work in Ohio this summer?
Karrie & I crossed mile 1600 today. Every time we pass a mile marker like 400, 800, or 1500 I think about track events & races we've run. It always results in me telling Karrie running stories. I'm pretty sure she's heard just about all of them at least once now.
This morning we had a pretty tough climb, but the promise of spending tonight in an actual town kept us moving. A couple miles from town we came across 4 black cows walking up the trail toward us. When they saw us they turned around & quickly started making their way back down the hill. Despite our best efforts to scare them off the trail we followed them for over a mile, dodging manure & listening to the loud clanking of cowbells the whole time. Eventually they climbed up a steep slope, & we quickly slid past them before they could change their minds.
When we finally made it to the road at Etna Summit, we immediately stuck out our thumbs looking for a ride. Four cars & 45 minutes later we caught a ride from a friendly fisherman named Rick. He dropped us off in front of a pharmacy with an old school soda fountain. I grabbed a root beer float that the place had nick-named an “Oh-My!” We asked our server where to find some real food and she pointed us to Dotties. Dotties was an old school diner that had a hodgepodge menu of cheap and delicious food. It kind of reminded me of Swenson’s except we didn’t sit in a car. I ate 3x the food a normal person would eat & then ordered dessert.
The rest of the day consisted of usual resupply activities such as laundry, grocery shopping, and showers. All of this was made much easier thanks to the Etna Hiker Hut, which let us camp on their property, borrow bikes to ride around town, and watch movies on their TV while each of us waited our turn for the shower. The grocery store was having sale on Ice Cream Sandwiches (12 for 2 bucks) so I bought 24, ate 4, and solidified some friendships with the other 20. I promise I won’t be too fat the next time we hang out!
Etna definitely had everything a hiker could want in a trail town. Karrie and I agreed that it was well worth the 45-minute wait. There was supposed to be a big meteor shower tonight, but the smoke from the fires in the area has made it difficult to see many stars. Hopefully it will clear out soon.