I woke around 4 AM to the sound of a downpour hitting the roof above my head. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Maybe I wouldn’t be leaving early this morning. Yet at 4:45 I got up and packed up quietly so as to not awaken the three other hikers in the “Penthouse”. I got on my rain jacket, and pants expecting the worst. Downstairs one other hiker, Speedstick, was up. She was eating breakfast, making coffee, and writing in the registry. After she was done I wrote a short thank you in it too. I had already put in my donation the day before. I ate my cereal as she silently went about her chores.
By then the rain had subsided, a few birds were chirping, and it was light enough to hike. Silently I slipped out, opened my umbrella and was on my way.
Although I was hoping the rain was done, a few minutes later it started to pour again. A cool wind blew. I pulled up my hoody, got on my rain gloves and hiked along. The dirt road now became a mud road. My shoes were caked. I was worried I would walk right out of them. Nevertheless I continued to slog along.
The water report showed that at about mile 15 was Thomas Mtn. Ranch. It said water was at the building. As approached a lady stuck her head out of the building, said hi and come in. Muddy shoes and all I stepped into her home, met her husband, another hiker, Mudbug, and another man whose truck had gotten stuck up the road. The couple were in their 80s. I dropped my pack and sat on an old couch. We all chatted for a few minutes while I got out my lunch and started to eat. Then they left Mudbug and I in their home alone while they drove off to help the fellow whose truck was stuck. Just as they were leaving Speedstick arrived. While they were gone we three hikers chatted. When I finished my lunch I headed back out onto the wet mucky road. Six miles later I found a camping spot on the side of the road and put up my tent. Such is the life of a simple thru-hiker. Oh, and as soon as my tent was up I had some leftover cherry pie. Yum!