Location: Microtel, Hamburg, PA
Katie and I woke up in the cold morning tired after a restless night. If one of us moved in the night it would be impossible to avoid disturbing the other in the small two person tent. The tent may be a two-man tent, but it’s a tight squeeze. It reminds me of a family I met on the trail, a father, daughter and son. The tent the family carried could sleep two people with gear. Since they all slept in the tent, the ten year old son acquired the trail name Gear.
We were relieved to find that our food bag hadn’t been undisturbed in the night. Even after this long in the woods, perhaps my mind still plays tricks on me when I hear noises in the night forest. Katie helped me break down camp and we shared a Pop-tart for breakfast. We hiked three miles back to the car. It didn’t take long. I was surprised that Katie’s body didn’t hurt this morning. On my second day my knees and calves ached.
We returned to the car and went to Wendy’s for lunch. I was so happy to have shared a piece of the trail with Katie. After lunch she took me to the grocery store and we went to Cabela’s. Cabela’s was having a huge sale this weekend. I learned that 11,500 customers visited the store Saturday alone. The front of the large outfitter looked like a carnival, with a mechanical bull, many boats on trailers, hot dog vendors, and sample drinks and snacks. Afterwards, we returned to Port Clinton and napped in the warm sun by the stream which ran by the Port Clinton pavilion. We both needed some sleep after a restless night.
As Katie prepared to leave me at the trailhead, we spotted Aaron and Druid sitting at a different trailhead. I wanted Katie to meet some of my thru-hiker friends. After quick hellos, we learned that Not Bad’s grandparents had gotten a hotel room at the Microtel in Hamburg, PA, just down the road, and that we were all welcome to stay. Katie took Aaron and me to the hotel. I hugged Katie goodbye and she left for DC. Her visit was short but meant more to me than I could tell her. After she left, Aaron and I snuck up the backstairs to the hotel room on the third floor.