Chery arrives and I know that I made the right choice in doing those 24 miles. She’s all bright and relaxed and loving. She brings me to the retreat and shows me around: two teepees, a yurt, a laundry room, showers, and a hot tub. I meet George (a pilot), Melinda (an energy healer), assorted cats and Oscar the parrot. They only started welcoming hikers this year, but know exactly what to do.
Dinner is served in their home. I take off my shoes and my throbbing feet start to relax. I mention that don’t have camp shoes (my poor feet never cried out for a change of venue until now). Without a moment’s hesitation, George takes off his slippers and gives them to me. Who does that? These folks seriously care!
After a great night of sleep in the teepee, French press coffee, a dip in the hot tub and a four-hand massage, I feel completely renewed. Planning a thru-hike can be incredibly time consuming. Planning a thru-hike plus Wild Times was madness. For the first time, I feel like I can thoroughly slip into the hike and leave behind the administrivia that’s occupied the past year.