KRACKER BARREL

Day 132 – 9\10\15

22.8 miles

2351.1 total miles

PCT mile 2316.7

    The 8 miles into town was quick and easy.  Doing my chores in town was not.

    When I say town I don’t always mean town.  Today town was a gas station where inside there was a tiny market, washer and dryer, bathroom and a small deli with sandwiches and various microwaved foods.  This gas station had it all, including the ability to make my head spin.

     First off J-Walk and I have 2 contrasting agendas, her was to get cleaned up, mine was to drink a smoothie and eat sandwiches.  As I was savagely eating J-Walk asserted her decision to get the laundry done immediately, which meant getting out of my hiking clothes and into my clean town clothes.  I crammed my sandwich into my mouth and drank my smoothie so fast I fell to the ground in complete paralysis.  I frantically grabbed all my laundry and went into the men’s room to change only to find the 1 stall taken, by a rather large man doing his buisness.  I leave and give him his space and go back into the area of the gas station with a small dining area only to get a strict jab about why I wasn’t yet changed into my town clothes.  I tell her the bathroom is taken.  She sais “use the girls bathroom”.  After the men’s bathroom had been occupied for 10 minutes I decided to go outside and find an area to change.  Behind the store I find a dark area and get stark naked like a crack head in the middle of the afternoon.  But it satisfies J-Walk because the laundry is now going.  

    As I’m trying to pay for my next round of microwaved foods and candy I realize that my wallet is on spin cycle.  I grab that out of the soapy water and walk out to the only picknick table they have, it was 100 yards away from the gas station and in the middle of an exposed dirt field.  I place my dollar bills on the table to dry with rocks on then and start going through my food resupply package.  When out of nowhere I am hit with a swarm of bees extremely interested in everything I’m doing.  As I start frantically packing up my food I see these large swallow like birds dive bombing some of my food right next to me. I basically run around the table and grab anything that the birds can get and pack it even faster than before.  But then I see a bird go for my money.  He took a $20 bill a few feet away before dropping it.  I retrieved my money and threw all my food into a box and ran back to the gas station.  Now I know why that table was always empty.

    After I got my money dried out and my food situated I decided to get cleaned up.  I went into the bathroom only to find another rather large man using the stall and not sounding like he was moving any time soon.  What do you expect from a truck stop bathroom.  I go by a beer and some extra junk food.  And realize that the only person, running the store, was the same person making the food, cashiering, helping pump gas, giving hikers direction, taking oiut the trash, and stocking the bathrooms.  I patiently wait to pay as she finishes up her sandwiches and tip her for doing a great job.  

    Being a hiker, you can sometimes get away with things because you look so homeless people don’t want to open up lines of communication with you.  But in this case I cracked a beer in the store only to have a random stranger tell me instantly that you can’t have beer in a store.  I stupidly realized that rule just as he spat it out, because I just worked in a store, in this state.  I just walk around like such a zombie that I don’t even think drinking booze in a store is an unusual thing.  So I go outside and chug the large 25oz Fosters beer in the parking lot in the middle of the afternoon, like an adult.

    After the beer I checked the men’s room and this was my chance to clean my body.  There was no lock on the door so I had to be sure not to be caught washing my arm pits over the hand washing sink.  That image could ruin a kids perspective of the world if timed properly.  But I hide in the stall and clean myself with Wet Ones baby wipes, then mop my skin down with a watered down paper towel.  I feel so refreshed.  

    After all this I sat and thought about how last year I would never have been caught dead opening a beer in a public store, stripping down nude behind a gas station, and washing my body over a gas station sink in a bathroom with no locking door.  I’ve turned into hiker trash, and I hope I can someday turn it back off.

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2 Comments

  • Marie says:

    OMG, the tears of laughter are streaming down my face! Being a veteran traveler in the East, these things seem somewhat ‘normal’ to me…yet here in the States it’s… well… I love it that you want to find the turn off button! Keep on truckin! Love, Marie

  • Joy says:

    Restroom writings

    in a restroom in Millbrook, ONT:
    written about a foot from the end of the toilet paper and then rerolled…
    “help! I being held prisoner in a toilet paper factory!”

    “No hope,
    No dope,
    No ride,
    I died.”
    Found in a bar in Moriarity, New Mexico

    “Good guys don’t always wear white”
    Response:
    “Do good guys ever go nude?”
    Response:
    “Occasionally….yes”
    Men’s Room, 3rd Floor Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh PA

    “Hans must wash employees.”
    men’s room of a very humble American roadside diner somewhere in southeastern California, south of Bakersfield on the way to Joshua Tree NP

    “Remember, it’s not “How high are you?”… it’s “Hi, how are you?”
    Rest stop off Route 81, West Virginia

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