Tuesday–July 13, 2021
Location–Port Clinton, then to Quality Inn, Midway, AT Mile 1,220.5
Rock n’Sole Hostel, right down the road from PA-183, a really nice place. I got to know Craig & Jody right away. Kind, friendly folks. Craig came by last evening to get my dirty clothes, and Jody brought me supper. So, I visited awhile with them both.
This morning, promptly at seven, I’m served breakfast by Jody, right on their front porch. Then Craig shuttles me back up to the trail and I’m hiking well before eight. Thanks Craig; thanks Jody, for a wonderful stay at your Rock n’Sole Hostel!
Doesn’t take long and I’m right back in the rocks. Along, and occasionally, there’ll be short sections lacking rocks or boulders, but then I’m wading in pure mud. Thunderstorms the past two nights have been intense. Besides the mud, the rain has caused the trailside brush and briars to hang and droop over the trail, making it nearly impossible to see what’s underfoot. I manage to take a nasty fall, wrack up my left hand and right knee (again), and break the tip completely off my left trekking pole. Next gravel road crossing, I take the blue blaze hobo hiker trash route past the poorly maintained section. On the road I meet a local couple out for a walk. Lady says, “You’re cheating.” But when I tell them where I’ve walked from and how long I’ve been out here, her tone changes to one of empathy. I’m soon back on groomed, brushed-back trail–what a blessing (to be able to see the rocks).
The bail-off, down to Port Clinton is wicked steep. Craig had told me to be very careful and go slow. And I do, until my feet go out from under me. I do a perfect pack-slapped and go skidding down. Profanity, words not in my vocabulary, but I mutter a few choice ones. This butt buster–I’m none the worse for wear (forgive me, and thank you, dear Lord).
I’m in Port Clinton a little before five. Nine hours on trail today. I’m very tired; not good.
Redbeard has come for me and is waiting patiently. A fine supper at Westy Bar & Grill, then a hot soak-my-bones in the tub at Quality Inn Hotel (thank you, Redbeard) and the day come back around…
One small crack doesn’t mean that you are broken,
it means that you were put to the test and didn’t fall apart.