Journal 257-ODYSSEY 2021: Bama to Baxter-Hike On!

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Wednesday–November 3, 2021
Trail Day–257
Trail Mile–11.3/2571.7
Remaining Miles–46.0
Location–Mount Everett Road (1515.4) to Homes Road (1526.7), then to home of Mike & Carol Whalen and son, Chris, Otis, Massachusetts

What a wonderful benefit (say blessing) to be offered a place to stay by Chirs Mayor Whalen for the remainder of this journey. His parents, Mike and Carol, have a lovely log home on the mountain near Otis, Massachusetts. Mayor thru-hiked the AT this year and our paths crossed in both Gatlinburg and Hot Springs. He lives with his folks here in Otis, which is located near the trail–and in his kindness has offered me, Slim Jim, & Kitchen Sink lodging accommodations for the remainder of my hike. Mayor introduced us to his folks when we arrived here late yesterday evening and we were warmly welcomed. In anticipation of our arrival, Carol had prepared a big pot of beef stew for supper, and rooms were ready for us. I was able to shower first thing before sitting their dining room table and downing two bowls of stew. Being completely spent from the day’s hike I managed only a short visit before retiring to my room.

Today, hiking with me will be Slim Jim & Mayor. Kitchen Sink is taking the day off. Barry gets us to the trail early, where we’re greeted by a cold, clear morning–another perfect hiking day. Mid-day, JeanMarie Pooter Scooter Gossard comes hiking up the trail, completely surprising me. What a joy seeing her again! Pooter Scooter has hiked the AT, plus that segment of the Eastern Continental Trail  from Springer Mountain to Flagg Mountain, and I had the pleasure of meeting her when she reached Flagg Mountain–where I live (and caretake the mountain). She has come to join me and hike the remainder of this odyssey with me–the blessings continue (and continue).

Evening, we’re welcomed back to the Whalen home (Pooter Scooter too). Carol has prepared another delicious and nourishing meal–meatball subs. At the table, while stuffing myself, I soak my pitiful left foot in a tub of hot water and Epsom salts prepared by Barry (I continue suffering excruciating pain in my left foot).

Mayor is a happy, joyful person, a pleasure to be with (and he’s a strong hiker). We all had a great time hiking on the mountain today…

No road is long with good company.
(Turkish Proverb)

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