Day 19: zero edition 

It’s a little sooner than I intended to take a zero, but I did it anyway because my feet and my emotions were kind of hamburglered over the last couple of days. I figure I will be conservative now and work my way into longer stretches without zeroes later down the line. (Can you tell I’m trying to talk myself into this being okay? Yeah, still not good at taking breaks) 
I woke up to the sound of a mug crashing to the floor. Not sure what happened, but it made for an effective alarm clock. The hostel owners brought breakfast to us in the bunkhouse. Fruit! And blueberry muffins and an egg & cheese bagel situation. I gave half of my bagel to a mellow NOBO named zen master who gladly ate that and all the fruit I’m not supposed to eat (citrus). There’s way too much gluten in my life right now. I think it’s part of what’s making my finger so damn itchy. Who knows, but the sad spots won’t go away. I consulted with Charrow’s sister, who is a Dermatology resident (?). She did not seem alarmed in the slightest by the angry red bumps, so I will keep doing baking soda pastes and shea butter and hydrocortisone for good measure. Kitchen sink remedy? 

After breakfast, we went to the discount grocery store that sells food near it’s expiration date for reduced prices. Scored cliff bars for 25 CENTS each. At the quickie art in Duncannon they were $2.49 a piece. I only needed a few things to go with my giant box of food (thanks HQ) and goodies from my dad and stepmom. It was pretty hard to resist these gems though: 

The chatty owner drove us and provided an endless stream of personal information and stories about the town. I’m not sure he ever took a breath. The middle part of the day is kind of a blob. We said goodbye to zach. As he was leaving he made a texting gesture and whispered “you can text me” in the cute conspiratorial way. I’m sad that he’s so fast, and I probably won’t see him again unless he goes rogue and takes a few zeroes. But who knows. 

I organized my giant blob of food that barely fits in my food bag because we are going long haul style to Wind Gap, PA. Tomorrow is supposed to be a sloppy mess. There’s a treacherous and rocky drop into Port Clinton, so chrissy and I are going to have our bursting at the seams packs driven to Port Clinton (14 trail miles) by the owner and do what they call a “slack pack.” Aka we hike with just day packs of food, water, etc. Halfway is a stubborn purist and plans to carry his full pack. 

I didn’t feel as antsy as I anticipated today. The snacking was kind of hard to control, and I’m dying for an avocado and fruit. I found Greek yogurt, banana and some sweet discount granola at the store and ate that as the best snack ever. 

Three more hikers arrived at staggered points throughout the day. A NOBO fellow named salesman, a guy named Ryan who I met at a shelter a few nights ago, and another guy named Trav, who actually had a cameo in a post a few days ago because I met him briefly on trail when he followed chrissy around for a bit. Salesman has eaten a colossal amount of food since arriving. He had the giant dinner and dessert provided by the hostel, then an entire pint of Ben & jerrys and chips. 
Now everyone is tucked into their idiot boxes while we occasionally talk to each other about plans or laugh about nonsense. I’m anxious to see how my feet do on the rocks past port Clinton. Halfway and I mapped out a plan to get us to Delaware Water Gap. Apparently it’s going to get pretty gnarly in about 20 miles. Tomorrow we will float our way to Port Clinton! Because it’s going to rain forever. 
Miles: zerooo 

Total miles: 199.8 

Creature feature: just these two goofs at the hostel. 

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