All you can eat non-trail-food calories

The hot breakfast is amazing. For each day I’m at the hotel, I gorge myself on eggs, omelettes, and sausage.

After checking out, I sit in the lobby waiting for my packages to arrive. Two from Amazon, one from REI.

It’s not so bad, really.

Yesterday, I sent some gear home, shedding some unnecessary weight.

Today, I’m invigorated by the idea of less weight and new, more ideal gear.

So I sit in the lobby, showered, with clean clothes, heat, and WiFi.

Eventually the packages come.

My sleeping kit is...fantastic.

I’m actually quite excited to sleep in sub 40 degree whether tonight.

Packed up, I start the trek.

It’s going to take a while to get out of town; I need to get out of town before I have a chance at hitching.

I try anyway.

If people don’t know how to handle a hitchhiker on the open highway, they certainly have no concept of how to handle one walking past a Burger King.

On the way, I run across Jermaine headed back from lunch. I invite him again to come along, but he says, no, he needs to stay safe, particularly after his brain surgery. I blankly stare, unsure as to whether he’s kidding.

He leans his head over, and there’s a scar spanning the length of his head.

“What, you didn’t notice?”

No.

Well, do what you gotta do. If you change your mind, I’ll be out there waiting for you.

I wonder if Jermaine was a different person before the surgery.
I wonder if it’s a sign

Eventually, I get to an open stretch of highway. No luck with the thumb.

I walk a little, and it’s quite dangerous. Very little clearance to walk, much less for my arm. If I had my arm stretched out, a car would take it right off as it raced by.

I keep walking.

Oh. A syringe. I should probably be careful where I step.

I finally hit a long stretch, about an hour down the road where it’s reasonable for a car to actually pull over and safe enough for me to stand.

A stand for about 10 minutes before someone stops.
Posse

A guy and his 4 children, on their way to Roosevelt Lake.

Me too!

Just, much slower than you.

They’re going to pick up an elk they shot the previous weekend.

They can only take me halfway. But that’s good enough.

The next hitch - I do remember his name, but let’s call him Randy.

He’s a thru-hiker as well, coming back from chopping down his Christmas tree.

He offers me an open beer.

It was a relatively short time to get back to the trail. I’m super thankful.

Most of the day has been spent waiting at for packages, walking out of town, and hitching 30+ miles, but there’s still some daylight left.

About 3 miles on the trail, it’s time to make camp. I find the perfect spot right next to some cows.

What’s up cows.

I’m going to chill here with you tonight.

They stare.

Cool.