It was nice to soak in the hotsprings (tepid springs) of Drakesbad, getting truly relaxed and lethargic-sleepy, and then zonking out in the campground. Something about human-noises lets me sleep a little sounder and safer-feeling than animal noises, no matter how long I've been sleeping under the stars. I wanted the night to never end (or my alarm to never ring), but obligation and habit pulled me out of my sleeping bag at 5:30. We looked over into the campsite next to us, and there was Gnar; wrapped up in his fleece blanket. He had gotten in during the night and unsuccessfully looked for other through-hikers to commune with. Unlike usual, Microburst was the first out of camp: she was on a mission. She was going to try to hike the 23 miles to Old Station before 4 so she could pick up our packages from my lovely mother. As it turns out, 23 miles before 4 wasn't quite enough of a challenge for my friend with a jetpack for a butt; she made it there by 2. Holy cow! Hero of the day!
Sweet 16 and I were going to take a better watered, more scenic, alternate route before lunch, but I dropped behind when I de- and re- layered halfway up the first hill of the morning and never caught up. A boyscouts troop had been through inbetween us and completely obliterated 16's pole scrathces for me, so I missed the significant junction. I started thinking I was way behind when al the hikers I saw denied seeing 16, but I showed up to he lunch hideout only 15 minutes after 16.
In celebration of getting into town today, I tried to drain my phone battery again, but this time it was episodes of This American Life. I was soon sucked in, crying, laughing, and dancing with excitement at all the appropriate times. Eventually, I felt like I was on a roadtrip, one in which your legs are uncomfortable no matter what... and you're only driving 2.5 mph.
Once we got into Old Station, 16 and I ate $1.5o tacos and drank milkshakes, unsure of where Microburst was. The guy who ran the deli in the general store was retired from his $32/hr job for the National Weather Service, now happily in food service for 8-9 dollars. He was really nice, but we could hardly get words in edgewise, and ended up staying an hour until Firefly, the owner of the Hiker Hideaway we are staying at tonight, came and picked us up. Gnar, Lowe, 16, and I squeezed into the back of the van with multiple other hikers with town-beer agendas.