Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 29: Easter in Erwin!

April 5: Yep, that’s about it. I spend Easter in Erwin. Oh, sure, I could tell you more details than that. It did get pretty cold during the night—according to Quirk’s thermometer, we woke up to a chilly 28 degrees and I certainly took my time getting out of my sleeping bag. Especially so since I knew I had a relatively short hike into Erwin. Definitely no reason to rush things!


The Nolichucky River far below. The trail crosses the river a few miles outside of Erwin.


The Appalachian Trail, technically speaking, hits the outskirts of Erwin about 4 miles from the center of town, but goes right passed Uncle Johnny's, a popular hostel that thru-hikers often use and seemed like a good base of operations. When I arrived, I got myself a small cabin for a little privacy—I had work to do, and other thru-hikers milling around aren’t very conductive towards focusing my concentration to write these blogs and fix and adjust code. It was a privative room with barely enough space for me to unload my pack, and included no special perks such as a private bathroom. Nope, that was still shared with all of the other hikers.


I had my maildrops sent directly here which was convenient for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t have to go into town to get my mail—it’s already here! And second, I didn’t have to worry about arriving on a Sunday or when the post office had already closed. I was set with the mail situation the second I walked into the hostel. =)


A couple of hours after my arrival, there was a shuttle into town which I took for lunch for an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Because it was Easter, I figured I’d “dress up” by wearing a tie. I should look nice on Easter, right? Strapped had also arrived at Uncle Johnny’s and while he didn’t plan to spend a night, there was a Dollar General right next to the pizza place and another grocery store across the street from it. So we both did the buffet, then resupplied before the shuttle took us back to the hostel.




During the drive, I had asked the driver what he thought of my tie, and he said he thought Miss Janet had given it to me. Oooh… I’d forgotten about Miss Janet. Back during my first thru-hike, I remembered there was quite a rivalry between her hostel and Uncle Johnny’s. I’d heard lots of stories, although it was hard to sort fact from fiction. What I’d also forgotten was that apparently, Miss Janet had given away ties to hikers at the kickoff event. It hadn’t even occurred to me that anyone might think Miss Janet had given me the tie, and waving it in the face of an Uncle Johnny employee probably seemed something like waving a red cape in front of a bull.


“Oh, no!” I told him. “Miss Janet didn’t give me this tie. I’ve hiked with one for years for special occasions! I’ve never even met Miss Janet before!” (Which is quite true.) But I was a little curious about what he thought about Miss Janet and tried to question him about it. “I’ve heard a lot about her, though. What do you know about her?”


He took a moment to answer, finally telling me something to the effect, “The less I say, the better.”


Ah, okay. Understood… He definitely didn’t have warm and fuzzy feelings towards her, but he wasn’t going to say anything bad about her either. At least not to someone who was wearing a tie that, despite my protestations, he probably suspected came from her anyhow. I couldn’t get him to gossip, and I wondered if I’d have had better luck had I not worn the tie.


The rest of the day was uneventful. I did laundry upon returning to the hostel, and the rest of the day and evening catching up on emails and messages.


It was a beautiful day to walk into Erwin!


Uncle Johnny’s hostel has this helpful signpost. Katahdin (the end of the Appalachian Trail) is just another 1,822.4 miles away! =)


wassamatta_u said...

What, no picture of you in a tie?!?!????

Ryan said...

I didn't think to take one! Sorry, Wasssa! You'll have to photoshop something together. =)