April 14 2015
We took an 11 mile nero into Standing Bear today. Roadrunner decided to spend the day with us. Sam and I washed our clothes on a washboard, which to be honest, didn’t do much to clean our socks. Chewy showed up later in the day and out group was reunited again! Standing Bear had a great resupply housed in this little shack. Most of the food was expired, but they had everything we needed. The owners of Standing Bear are characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed staying in the rustic bunks, especially when the pouring rain came down. Every time I heard it rain while I was under a roof on trail, I felt an immense amount of sympathy for hikers out camping outside at elevation. Trail completely changed my concept of weather.
I remembered staying at Standing Bear with my dad when we did our section hike. I remember wondering what it is like to hike the trail and be at this place when it is full of hikers. When we did our hike it was off season, and I couldn’t help but notice that something happens, that there was residual energy from lots of people, graffiti, logs, traces of something magical that had passed. I had no idea about the intensity of trail culture; I had no idea how important that fleeting thought would come to be in my thru-hike. It is funny to notice something tiny, seemingly unimportant, only to find out later that it is a major reason for hiking itself. As a section hiker I was always avoiding crowds, trying to escape and as a thru-hiker I reveled in human relationships, I laughed, I cried, I loved; I love.