Waking up, we knew we had a long day ahead of us. Seventeen miles and the last of the big mountains for a while. The only setback was I couldn’t find my pack cover and my supposed trash bag as a liner was torn to bits. Needles to say my gear was not protected from the rain at all, if it came. You know what that’s exactly what it did too. Flailing and I had just gotten to the edge of the trail and wondered if we should go left or right. The only way we could decide was to let the coin decide for us. Flipping the quarter three times, each with the same result. Heads we go left, tails we go right, the coin was telling us left. So that’s what we did, we walked the easy two miles back to the road and it started to rain on us.
Earthling had to know that neither one of us were going to climb the mountains in the rain and since we had a date at the hut, we would go there instead. We gave her little thought after that. She would just follow us eventually and hitch up to the hut. The moment we got to the road,my thumb flew up. Swoosh, instant ride, the car coming at us pulled right over and opened up the truck for us. The nice guy, jamming to reggae, offered us some fresh apples and took us into town. Checking back in at the post office, we were again surprised, my shoes had arrived. The new shoes with better tread were just in. Instant hitch, food, new shoes, the coin was right we said to each other.
Walking back outside in the rain, we tried to hitch out of town towards the hut. In the rain, looking like fools, we stood for more than twenty minutes. Just when we started to worry about getting a ride out of town, a young woman in a van pulled over. The first thing we noticed were the two large hound dogs and the puppy in the passenger seat. Each dog craning for the window facing us, pushing each other out of the way with their heads. She asked when we were headed, in moments we were all off down the road. Flailing and I both with dogs in our laps were soon to be close to the trail. Little did we know that she was headed much farther out of town than we thought; not only that she was happy to take us all the way to where we were meeting the shuttle.
Arriving at the hut, by vehicle, the two of us felt out of place. When the wonderful facilities coordinator walked us up to the hut and asked us to take our shoes off out side we stood and waited as she went inside. We stood outside not because we wanted to, but because we were accustomed to. In the whites we were treated slightly above stray dogs that held some favor for chasing off a bear or big cat. If we had done a good job we received scraps from the hut croo and a spot to sleep on the floor. The most important thing we were to be seen and not heard, the guests came first. So we stood outside like to stray dogs we were. A few minutes later she came back and asked us what we were doing, feeling slightly foolish we told her that we had just finished taking off our shoes and followed her in.
From that moment on we were definitely out of place. Everyone greeted us and asked if we needed anything, offering us drinks, beer and food. We just stood there, unsure of where to stand, what to do, where to go. We had never been treated so well in a hut before and we had no clue how to act. After a half an hour of asking if we could help with anything, we decided to take the hot shower they had offered us and brought our gear into the drying room. We had everything and anything we could want at our disposal, a far cry from New Hampshire where our cold food was nearly served on a plate on the floor. One of the hut staff told us that thru hikers were treated with dignity and respect here. They had gone some 2000 miles and deserved a little taking care of. We really felt warm and appreciated in that moment.
We spent the rest of our day in the most productive way possible, I wrote and he read. By mid afternoon we planned our pickup for Earthling and as we talked about it, she strode into the hut. Way to early to have had a good day, we listened to her adventure and got her warm and dry. The miserable conditions outside were the perfect day to not be climbing mountains. Seeing as how we needed a day to recuperate, we decided to stay one more. This time we helped out with some chores and spent the day enjoying the lake and all the hut had to offfer. Once again I wrote and the other two played on the lake. Our time there was well spent, in the end all we could say was THE COIN WAS RIGHT.