Trail Days -Friday.
Frequent surprises today, which included running into Dash, Wild Child, and Chance from the PCT and then from the AT Serial, Marta, Stumpknocker, plus Ms. Gorp. I chatted a bit with “Old Man” Paul Senechal, who runs the Appalachian Trail hostel and the AT Cafe in Millinocket, ME. He told me that Baxter has much snow and ice up high and is now slated to open two weeks late, on June 1. Andy Oliver is here from Lincolnville, ME too, who thru- hiked the AT in 2010. I also heard my name called at the Four Dog Stove Booth, and realized that Squatch had found me. He’s a west coast documentary filmmaker who shot and produced 3 of the PCT Walk series DVD’s. He’s doing a documentary of “Personalities on the AT”. I made him coffee and fed him a croissants. It was a real lift to connect with those folks. Again I feel that Damascus is the friendliest hiker town ever. I walk down the street and hear people call my name. It is a comfort to me.
I spent many hours today hanging out at the booth, answering questions about stoves and other gear and watching Don work the customers who were coming up to the table. We sold a lot of $1 titanium tent stakes. People seem to like holding knives, as well.
What gave me satisfaction was having my Leki poles serviced for free, where they replaced my tips, and both lower sections and also repaired the adjusting mechanism on the left wrist strap. I was also fed up with my Petzel Elite headlamp . The light portion was so loose in the ball joint that it just kept flopping down, preventing use of it on my forehead. I traded it in for a $30 Princeton Tech headlamp that actually works, one that I would be able to night hike with, something the Petzel was feeble at.
We had a big thunderstorm come through at 5 PM and had to move a lot of gear undercover at the mule trailer. Big blow, strong rain, but no real problems. I’m exhausted. More of this tomorrow.
Trail Days -Friday.