Decided to book it to Twenty Mile Ranger station. Pretty chill trail, except going up Shuckstack, which was steep, but I was amazed and stoked to see the White Blazes of the AT again and remember the eventful night I spent with C-Bass and the nice older hiker whose trailname was what his buddy who died in Vietnam used to call him (can’t remember his name). It all felt so magical.
I hung out at Twenty Mile Ranger station and saw a few cars–including a ranger who stopped for me. I was scared because hitching is illegal in national parks and was afraid I was going to be ticketed, but he just asked is he could help. And technically, I was just outside park boundaries, so was probably ok.
A minivan pulled over with a very wholesome looking man who moved aside his kids’ toys and border collie so I could sit in the front seat. He was a dentist from Indiana and was so nice (like you imagine people from Indiana must be), that it was almost sketchy, except it wasn’t.
Made it there by 2:40 and got to the PO in time (apparently, it closes at 3!!). The postmaster was really nice and excited my home address was in Sacramento—I guess her mom is a country music DJ there. She asked if I listen to *whatever the call letters of the Sac country station is* and I kind of equivocated, but she took it for excitement. Apparently her mom will get me free tickets to see *whatever a country music star’s name may be* should I call in and tell her about the experience.
A bit frustrated by my Verizon phone, which is supposed to get reception in Fontana like other Verizon phones, but did not. I did get a bit of internet. The lady at the store was super nice about letting me have a cup, and I filled up with hot water in the bathroom for tea, and she told me to just go ahead and use their coffee machine for my tea. I was so grateful, when she mentioned she likes funky flavors of tea, that I gave her some of my licorice Stash.
Had fun at the Fontana Hilton meeting all the other hikers, and was pretty modest about my experience. I got AT&T reception there and was stoked. There’s a phone charger in the men (but not women’s…grr!) bathroom at the dam, so I had endless talk. It was nice to sleep in a shelter and not have to set up—but someone was snoring. Oh, the AT!