May 24, 2013
Our game plan today was to get everything for the trail done while Pasha and Kelsey were at work so that we wouldn’t have to worry about any of it for the rest of the weekend. We woke up early, started our laundry, and made breakfast sandwiches. It was so nice to eat on the couch, watch TV, and just relax. Unfortunately, the mysterious pollen allergy I discovered last month has been acting up again. I bent to pick something up off the floor and the throbbing pain above my left eye came flooding back. I will be glad to be back home where I have no allergic reactions.
In the afternoon, we headed to REI to exchange some of our broken gear and buy a few new things. I drove for the first time in over two months. It was a little strange at first, but I’ve gone longer without getting behind the wheel. I actually kind of miss driving. Is that weird? Miles had a lot of things to exchange. Not the worst the guy at Customer Service had seen however. He was able to buy new poles, shoes, shorts, and a few other things. I traded in my horrible Keens for a pair of Brooks Cascadia 7 trail runners. I was originally going to buy another pair of Oboz, but I had wanted to wear trail runners in the beginning anyways, but decided against it because I thought having a hiking shoe would be ideal when it was colder. I had tried on the Cascadia 8’s before I left and didn’t think they were as comfortable as other shoes I tried on, so when this REI had the Cascadia 7’s, an older model, I tried them on and found that they were more comfortable. I bought my first pair of Brooks running shoes in the fall and fell in love with them, so I’m excited to wear another pair on my hike. My Oboz still have a couple hundred miles left in them, so I’m going to wear them through Pennsylvania and then switch to the Brooks when my parents come down to visit us in a few weeks.
Our Sea to Summit stuff sacks had a few small holes in them, so we were able to get some patches for them for free from REI. We spent a couple of hours there getting sucked in to the Memorial Day weekend sale, so we ended buying a few other things as well. I got a new pack towel since I had lost mine in Bland, a more comfortable and colorful (green!) longsleeve shirt that was on sale, and Clif bars that were 25% off. We both love them and eat two per day when we can find them in stores. I was excited to find coconut chocolate chip. We both got new toothbrushes, our third ones that we’ve had so far. They get nasty after awhile since we can’t wash them with a lot of water, so we just buy cheap travel ones every month or so. Miles got a new hiking shirt and new shorts as well.
After resupplying at the grocery store, the four of us went to BlackFinn, a new restaurant and bar nearby. They had a ton of beer on tap and we went to their happy hour with a few of their friends. Miles and I were obviously wearing our clean hiking clothes and the waitress noted that we looked, “sporty.” If she only knew what we were doing…
We went back to the apartment and Pasha and Kelsey made us an awesome dinner of steak, turkey meatballs in BBQ sauce, Caprese salad, and rice. It’s always good to go in town and get a nice meal, but it’s even better when you get a home-cooked meal. We watched the Heat/Pacers game and eventually I fell asleep on the couch. It had been a long day, but I was looking forward to the prospect of sleeping in the next morning.