Miles: 10 Steps: 28,055 Elevation Gain: 1,955 feet Faith in Humanity: Great people at The Station at 19E! Crazy wind and snow over two bald summits. So fun to spend the night in a barn with 20 other hikers seeking shelter from the storm. The wind and rain was so strong for hours and hours! It turned to snow late at night but accumulations were only an inch or less. I led the pack alone for most of the trip to town. At first I thought I’d skip town, but I kept stepping in puddles drenching my feet with 35 degree water. Ok second thought, maybe I will go to town! I called a couple of places and one had one room for $140 and the other place wasn’t sure but they invited me to go and warm up there. Sounds nice, I’ll go there! The Station hostel was close, only 0.4 Miles from where the trail crosses the road (19E), so I started walking. A guy stopped his car and said something like “I’m not scary, I’ll give you a ride!” I hesitated as it was so close but he seemed nice and persistent. The guy pretty much demanded I give him gas money after the 1 minute car ride. Good old extortion! Haha, I gave him a dollar, whatever. The Station hostel was kind of funny. The owners and workers were super awesome and friendly. The hostel was literally being constructed while I was there and it was super loud with power tools and hand tools. I took a shower, then I was almost immediately brought to town. Thank you! I ate a super affordable and huge meal at Bob’s Dairyland, ran down the street to buy some food and things to make a new stove, ran into a hiker with soaked gear who said he lost his debit card and had no cash. It would be dangerous for him to camp tonight so I offered to pay for his bunk if he’s pay me back. We quickly were whisked off to the hostel again. You can drink beer at the bar downstairs or chill upstairs in the bunk room. I intended to have at least one beer but decided against it and just relaxed and socialized with new hikers. One funny thing: I didn’t know a single hiker there and there were about 20 people or more there. Kind of fun! I also chatted up a non hiker who was doing some electrical work. Nice guy. I went back to town to Subway where the employee there was so over the top Southern. Calling me baby doll and sweetie and honey. Ahh, the Deep South! I had a bad stomach ache when I was trying to go to bed, probably the ridiculous quantity of food I’d eaten!