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Day 14 8/7/17  3 miles North of the Seneca Lake Trail, Hitch to Pinedale and back to Elkhart Trailhe

Miles: 16 Steps: 35,870 Vertical gain: 1,719 ft. Liquid consumed: 140 oz Wildlife: Super cute Pika scurrying about for quite a while, large grouse pretty upset at me,chipmunks, squirrels, alpacas, horses Faith in Humanity: Darrell and Marrietta Ward of Springfield, MO have been amazing!!!! Details below.. Well, another day for the awesome book! I know I tend to be further along the Happy Spectrum than most, but for real: life is so amazing! I had a beautiful hike, an immediate ride to town, and then met an amazing couple who hooked me up beyond belief. Faith in Humanity continues to grow, thank you, world! Woke up around 6:15, on the trail around 6:40. I decided to listen to music for a bit on the morning which I haven't been doing lately and let me tell you: it was astounding. The countless alpine lakes, sub alpine rocks scattered with some trees and streams made me one happy hiker. The music also charged my soul. I even shed a few tears of joy as I pranced around this wonderland. I just couldn't help it. How could I be so lucky? Ahhhh,so tasty scrumptiously, beautifully wonderful! So next I meet an awesome female CDT hiker named Glimmer. One of the first things she said was "we're really the luckiest, huh?" "A little luckier, probably" I responded. She gets it. We cheerily chatted for a few and continued on in opposite directions. So good even if our chat was so brief. Continuing my cheery stroll, I approached a confusing signed intersection. I took out my map, puzzled, then met a gentleman and his daughter who were camped quite near. He knew the correct way and we had a brief talk about our trips. He said he came all the way from South (maybe North) Carolina to do the section I had hiked last night. Good call fine sir, good decision! One of the most beautiful sections of trail I've ever been fortunate enough to explore. Thank you, nature! I kept walking toward the Trailhead: content, With fairly easy but scenic terrain. Right before the Trailhead I met 2 nice gentlemen and a dog named Sage from New Mexico. They agreed to give me a ride into the Town of Pinedale, WY about 15 miles away. I sat in the truck bed and I really regretted not putting on an extra layer. I did have my buff at least which I pulled all the way up. I've been doing this quite a bit lately for warmth and sun protection. I was dropped off at one end of town and tried to find the church that hosts CDT hikers. I thought I found it and walked in but no one was there.,. Oh well probably the wrong place? I continued to a Family Dollar and bought a drink and snack then headed next door to the Laundromat. In here I had a conversation with two couples about my hike. They were both on fairly lengthy RV vacations and were nice to speak to. As my laundry was drying one couple asked if I wanted a ride back to the Trailhead. I thought about this and said I still needed to buy some groceries. They said they weren't in a hurry at all and I should get my groceries and they'd give me a ride. You know, why not, I thought? Cell reception in town was pretty poor and I have no clue if the church has good wifi, my primary reason for being in town, and all of the hotels were $100+ per night, so I bought groceries. I went back to the laundromat with too much food (as always, it's like my theme song but represented in excessive food quantities). Darrell and Marietta said they'd just finished but before we went back to the Trailhead they wanted to buy me Subway! "Really. Are you sure?" I asked. "Absolutely, get whatever you want." "Thanks so much!" And Subway was on! I find Subway to be one of the best ways to eat a bunch of veggies for a reasonable price. I had a tasty sweet onion teriyaki chicken sub with just about every vegetable they offer(minus black olives, not a fan). And a large tasty beverage. That was so generous! Thank you so much!!!!! Now we are in the truck back to the Trailhead. Marietta offers that I camp in their site for the night. They're in an RV and the site's plenty big. "You know, I'm in no hurry today, that sounds great!" I set up my tent quickly as it was about to rain. When the rain started I hopped in my tent and organized a bunch of gear and studied my maps. I wasn't able to fix my Guthook app in town so I was a bit bummed about that but oh well, this is why I "excessively"bring other maps. Sometimes things don't work and you need backup maps. It stopped raining and I got out of my tent. Darrel offered to charge my rechargeable battery and I gladly accepted. Then he invited me in their RV. They have the style that fits right on top of the truck bed. They like not having the stress of a separate trailer. I learned Marietta just celebrated her 80th bday, and Darrel was 77 and they've been married 46 years and have 16 grandkids I think and 1 great grand child! Good for them! You know, they said none of their kids ever come out and join them. That surprised me tremendously, but apparently they prefer beach vacations to wilderness. The beach is indeed awesome, but you'd think they'd vary it up at least once? Anyway, Darrel is a retired pipe fitter, avid fisherman and got into backpacking at the age of 75! He loves reading CDT trail journals and both of these are amazingly nice, fun to talk to humans! Next they're offering Pepsi's and hamburgers and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and Fritos and I'm certainly not saying no. Thank you ever so much for your kindness and generosity! Oh and Marietta sewed my pants! And did an amazing job and it only took her like 10 minutes! #faithinhumanity We had great conversation until dusk when I excused myself so they could go to bed. I brushed my teeth,went for a short walk and retired to my tent to write this really long journal entry. I know more concise entries would probably be much more exciting to read, but I really try to write as many details as possible to help refresh my memory when I read these entries post-trip! If anyone has the attention span to read this far, please let me know what you'd like to hear about more or less or the same or what of in these entries! I respond well to feedback! Oh and of course when I said I was going to leave in the morning it was "oh you'd better stay for breakfast!" You know, I do struggle at times to accept the generosity of others. But this trip is all about learning to enthusiastically say "YES!" Celebrate the generosity of others! I'm no mooch but if someone wants to cook me a free tasty breakfast I'm going to enjoy it. Thans for making my day so amazing Mr. And Mrs. Ward, your kindness will not be forgotten! Two pepsis is kind of too much for me, haha! Still awake at 10:20 like a crazy person! Let's see what kind of magic tomorrow brings!

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