I heard from Christian today. Even though he walked around town back home in Kentucky in his replacement boots for several weeks before he left, and despite the fact he purposefully purchased them one half size larger, his shoes are now too small. His feet have swollen so badly because of the hike that he actually needs boots a full size larger than his normal shoe size.
All of the companies he has dealt with for hiking gear have been accommodating and have bent over backwards to get him what he needs while on the trail. Word of mouth in the hiker community is a hot commodity. Unfortunately, he learned today that Lowa Boots will not work with him to replace his boots. We will have to buy him a new pair and I will have to ship them to his next destination. In the meantime, he is suffering with each step he takes.
I would be devastated, as I never want to see my husband in pain, if it were not for his attitude about the entire thing. Here is a text message I received this evening:
“I love you so much and blessed that you are letting me do this. I saw a beautiful sunrise this morning and my only regret is that you weren’t here to share it with me. It’ll be okay. I’m still having the time of my life”.
I am certainly concerned for his feet in those boots but, I am blessed by his attitude. My hero. We appreciate your prayers for him.
A blessed day! I was anxious about getting to town in time to do everything I needed to do. Town days are not exactly a walk in the park for hikers. We have to find a place to shower as well as a place to do our wash. We need to locate the post office and get to the grocery store to replenish our supplies. Once that is finished we find ourselves debating between staying the night in town since most of the hiking day is wasted or finding a ride the number of miles it would take to get back out to the trail (in this case, 11) I keep repeating to myself “Oh ye of little faith” because I often forget Who is in control in those moments.
At the road crossing a non-hiker was picking up hikers who had booked reservations at his hostel. I asked him some questions about where to go once I reached town, but who was I fooling? It was a preordained meeting. Gary turned out to be the owner of the Blueberry Patch Hiker Hostel, a ministry to hikers. Although he was unsure whether or not he would have room for me at the hostel he offered to drive me to town free of charge. Once in town he took me to a place that proves creation bends to the good: all you can eat pork ribs, greens, and a drink for $7 including tax. I was about to experience nirvana.
If you are anywhere near North Georgia make sure you stop at Daniel’s Steakhouse in Hiawassee . When you walk in it sort of takes you by surprise. The walls are covered with “Gone With the Wind” memorabilia. Hattie McDaniel’s photo looks somehow regal to me as pass through the doors. And, the smell of home cooking is like a siren to a hungry hiker.
It was 1:15 PM and even though the $7 meal special did not begin until 2PM, the sweetest most accommodating waitress I have ever met, Sandra sat me down and told me it was “close enough” and began to make me feel right at home.
Now, I’m a bit full, after a plate of cleaned bones, I don’t know how much coffee, and three desserts but hey, Sandra told me to stay as long as I like and the coffee keeps coming. Maybe I’ll wait until I get my second (or is that third) wind?
What I thought was going to be an anxious day turned out to be cool and calm. Gary found room for me at the hostel and I decided to stay in town rather than trying to hitchhike back to the trail this evening.
All and all Hiawassee, Georgia seems to be a pretty righteous town.
“Hiawassee, where the coffee keeps flowing and you can eat ribs til you’re sick”. I highly recommend it.
9:48 PM Blueberry Patch Hostel
Food is a double-edged sword. Continuous exertion, prolonged intense cardio on each ascent, and a meal that tastes too good to stop can come back to haunt you. I will leave it at that.
Today’s donation total did not change but, we could sure use some help with the unexpected expense of another new pair of boots. Please mail donations to: Christian Torp, P.O. Box 861, Lexington, Ky. 40588. Thank you.