Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Never heard of it, but if it helps ease the pain... I'll try anything. Bruce and I grab a few other necessities and gingerly make our way to the check out counter. I try my best not to make eye contact with the lady that is working behind the counter this evening... "Welcome to CVS...did you fellas find everything okay?" Her questions abruptly stop as she proceeds to scan our purchases for the evening... six pack of beer, a bag of cheese doodles, some Vaseline and a big bottle of Monkey Butt. I'm tempted to give the young lady an explanation but I'm sure she has heard it all before.
We grabbed some Chinese takeout and headed back to the room to get rested up for the next day's hike... we were wore out.
Some of you reading this may already know this about me, but I am red-green color blind. Its hard to explain but the best I can tell you is that sometimes I have trouble distinguishing between certain colors or shades of colors. Usually the worst case situation for a disadvantaged guy like me is getting laughed at for wearing two different colors of socks. I was about to see that wasn't the worst thing that can happen...with the heavily shaded forest floor, that Timber Rattler looked just like a log in the trail to me. I even had a difficult time finding it as I looked through my camera to take a picture. I have no doubt that if I had been leading the way when we met that snake, I would have either stepped on or directly over it and our hike could have turned out differently than it did. Do I have a guardian angel or was it just random luck that Bruce took the trail lead when he did? In the famous movie, It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey had Clarence looking after him... so why not me? All I know is I am enjoying my own "Wonderful Life" and I'm thankful I get to experience a little more of it.
If the title of this entry doesn't grab your attention... nothing will. After getting settled into our room, we decide to walk about a mile into town and eat at a Mexican Restaurant that Gene had recommended to us. It was an okay place to eat but Bruce and I were mainly interested in sitting in a sports bar, watching highlights of the PGA Championship and catching up over a cold beer. After a quick Google search on my phone, I find a place called the Bear Meadows Grill located down the street from where we are and they are still open. Not having many options, we head over to check it out.
As we drove through town on our way to the Hiawassee Inn, we passed a nice Holiday Inn Express as well as a Ramada Inn. They look nice, but the Hiawassee Inn got several "thumbs up" from other AT hikers so I figured it was the place to stay if hiking the trail. As we turn into the entrance of the Hiawassee Inn, this was probably the first point of the trip that Bruce finally began to quietly question my superb planning abilities. Why again are we not staying at the Holiday Inn Express?... Well, this place only charges $40 per night for hikers and my shuttle driver knows where it is... it has met all of my requirements.
Here is a helpful tip for any of you that research the internet looking for that perfect hotel... if "private bathroom" and "hot water" are listed as amenities... keep looking. I'm surprised they didn't go ahead and list "beds" and "electricity" as some of the other amenities. Oh well, we are only staying two nights... how bad can it be.
How can anything go wrong with a detailed plan like that?