Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Day 17: The Bonners Ferry Day Off

August 1: I slept in late. It was my day off! I had no reason to wake up early! But when I did wake up, I had absolutely no idea what time it was. Without any windows in my room, it really messed with my sense of time. Was it early and still pitch dark outside? Or was it noon already and the sun was high and shining? I had no idea when I first woke up and had to check a clock. It was late, but not super late.

I watched a few Netflix shows and caught up with emails and messages. I wasted a few hours before deciding to head out for lunch. At the front desk, I asked where I could do laundry and the desk clerk pointed me south down the road. I was hoping there was an option to do it at the hotel but alas, no, I needed a laundromat. I googled for laundry and couldn't find a location to the south of the hotel--only to north. Did the desk clerk try to send me in the wrong direction?!

Gypsy and I lunched at the Rusty Moose
I had also searched the Internet for information about getting a ride back to the trail. I didn't want to stand around waiting for who knows how long to hitch a ride, but I couldn't find anything online about taxis or other transportation options. I asked the desk clerk if this was correct--that there really was no way for me to get transportation back to the trail and he confirmed that that was correct, there were no taxis in town. I hoped he might offer to provide a ride in town--even if it was for a fee, but he had no interest in that. He did say that there was a trail angel in town who often provided rides, but he didn't know who it was or how to contact them. Sounded like I'd have to do some more online sleuthing!

I got the sense that the guy really didn't want to be bothered. Not exactly hating hikers, but not very supportive of them either or our unique needs.

I filled my backpack with dirty clothes to do laundry but first, I started walking toward downtown to look around. The downtown core was about 2 miles away so I planned a 4-mile round-trip walk to explore the town. The laundromat was between the two.

The temperatures were miserably hot, but at least I didn't have to hike far and would be able to escape the heat in air-conditioned buildings along the way.

The road into Bonners Ferry

I didn't make it very far, however, when I passed Gypsy sitting in his car a few blocks away. He saw me before I saw him and I offered to take him out for lunch as thanks for picking me up the day before. It was the least I could do!

I kind of wanted to walk into town--to stretch my legs a bit--but it seemed more complicated to try meeting somewhere downtown in a half hour so I jumped in his car and got a ride into town.

We stopped at The Rusty Moose, a cute little place where I ordered the Philly Steak--filling and delicious! We chatted for a couple of hours sharing our war stories on the trail and he offered to give me a ride back to the trail in the morning which I was happy to accept. Yes, that will work!

After lunch, Gypsy offered to drive me back to the hotel--or even the laundromat--but I turned him down this time. I still wanted to stretch my legs! So we parted ways. I walked around the downtown core a bit to explore and take a few photos then headed back on the main road toward the hotel.

The road had a lot of construction happening which complicated the walk, but I eventually reached the laundromat. The owner/attendant was there, a friendly fellow who even gave me a soap pod for free. I threw my clothes in a washer and sat down at a table to write in my journal and write some postcards while waiting for my clothes to finish.

Time to do laundry!

When the clothes did finish, I shoved them into my pack and hit the road. I didn't bother to dry them--they tended to dry quickly on their own.

Back at the hotel, I laid out my clothes to dry then headed back to Two Tone's Cafe for dinner. After my great experience there the night before, I had to hit it up again. T.D. gave me a big welcome having remembered me from yesterday evening, but it was another waitress whose turn it was to seat me. T.D. still checked up on me regularly, though.

The outdoor patio of Two Tone's Cafe was wonderful!

Afterwards, I headed to the Safeway across the street to get some grocery shopping done. The clerk there also remembered me from the day before and greeted me like I was a long-lost friend. I'm making a lot of friends in this town! =)

When I returned to the hotel, I saw a car pull up and a lanky person step out of the passenger side just before the car drove off. He looked a lot like a hiker to me. Maybe even a thru-hiker?

The lobby was locked and closed for the night and the guy stood at the door seemingly unsure of what to do, and I walked up and asked if he was hiking the PNT.

Yes, he was, and had just arrived into town. My first thru-hiker sighting! After 17 days on the trail, I finally crossed paths with another thru-hiker! In town, of course. I still had yet to see a thru-hiker in the wild. He introduced himself as Ryan, "No way!" I replied. And he was looking for a place to set up his tent to camp out overnight and had heard that the hotel here allowed hikers to set up camp.

But he didn't actually have permission to do so and didn't know where he should set up. I didn't either. There was an "emergency" number listed on the door and I suggested calling that and asking. It wasn't particularly late--maybe 9:00 or so.

For dinner, I ordered a Mexican-theme dish. Delicious!

He called the number but nobody answered and he left a voicemail about his situation and a number to call back. Then he asked me about nearby eating options. I told him that Two Tones was absolutely wonderful but, alas, I think they had just closed at 9:00. We walked over anyhow and the place was closed, but it looked like they were doing some sort of shoot. I wasn't sure if it was a commercial or a photo shoot of the food or what, but the place was hoping and it wasn't with customers.

I didn't know which restaurants were open this late in the evening, but suggested the Safeway across the street had plenty of food and was open. And that's what he ended up doing.

I also told him that if he didn't get a response to where to camp, he could crash in my room for the night. "Just knock. I'm in room #5."

We parted ways and I headed back to my room. About an hour later, there was a knock at my door. Ryan was still homeless for the night and planned to take up my offer of staying in my room.

We ended up chatting for hours until I realized it was 1:00am and I thought, "Crap! I need to get some sleep!" Gypsy was scheduled to pick me up early in the morning and I needed to be ready on time!

I only took this photo because of the giant, inflatable turtle on the wall. I really wanted to keep him!
The giant American flag could be seen all over town!

1 comment:

Lou Catozzi (PI Joe) said...

I just glanced at the title of today's blog and thought "Ferris Beuller's Day Off", that's an odd title.