AT- Day 8
Plan is to be here for thee days at Trail Days, the World’s Largest Backpacking Event. Should be 20,000 or so in a town that is normally under 1,000 in population. This year is the 25th anniversary. Big time big times.
Today is just setting up. The two mile downhill hike into Damascus was easy, ballooned up with anticipation. In no time I was showered, full bellied, and clean clothed. I started by being first in line at the Baptist church Emergency Preparedness Shower Unit, which they kicked off exactly at 8:AM. Full deal: razors, shampoo, soap, clean towels, toothpaste, brushes, plus food goodies and coffee. Free. Oh, they even had pre-stamped postcards, pens, and an outgoing mailbox right there.
After breakfast bagel and big coffee at Mojoe’s, I found Grimey, another hiker who was willing to combine clothes for a trip to the laundromat. I have already met people here I know.
I found a tall guy in a Namath shirt with a wild shock of dark hair sprouting from a kamikaze emblazoned bandanna bunched over and hauling what looked to be trash out of a beat up little black import sedan. Behind the dark sunglasses the form of Crazyhorse came clear.
He had sold the red, white, and blue Corvette and has been living out of this car for the past two years, hiking again. He was looking much fitter than when I last saw him, the product of an Adkins approach to diet. He told me that he is still in regular touch with Paddy-o, who may be supporting him and another hiker through the Whites this summer.
So after a horrendously hot 90 degree day I am ready for sleep, have a place next to Don Kivelus in the “Gooseneck” of a long mule trailer, soft pad, sleeping bag and pillow. Sure will beat what might have been my spot at tent city in the middle of multi-night mayhem and madness.
We’ll see how the sales of cookware and stoves go tomorrow.