The day following Deep Gap Shelter, Hansel and Gretel awoke early and hiked 3 miles to a road crossing. Here, they hopped on a shuttle that brought them to a hostel called The Blueberry Patch. This sweet and wonderful place had two houses. The second house is where the hikers stayed. THere was a large table, a stove, and three bunks (one was as a double bunk bed with double beds, and two were triple bunks with single beds). Each was made from thick wooden logs. Also in the shelter was a collection of food that people had left and was free to anyone who wished to take it. There was still another box with free gear that people had left behind!
The man running the hostel washed Hansel and Gretel's laundry and they even were able to take a shower! It is quite possible that this was their first shower since starting the hike a little over a week ago. Yikes!
The Blueberry Patch sat on a huge piece of property. The backyard was equipped with large garden in addition to four goats and two mules!
After hanging their wet clothing out to dry, Hansel and Gretel heading into town where they proceeded they found an all-you-can-eat buffet. As it turned out, neither one of them was able to actually eat very much food. It seems that after a week on the trail, consuming only small portions of food at a time, they can not hold nearly as much food as they could before starting. The problem they encountered was that they ate insanely fast! They filled their plates (fried chicken, creamed corn, sweet potatoes, etc.) and in less than 10 minutes, everything was gone! By the way, Gretel is still a vegetarian, getting her protein through beans and peanuts and such. Needless to say, our two favorite hikers were not feeling so stellar after that meal!
Following their feeding frenzy, a trip to Ingles Grocery Store ensued. Ingles was chock full of great stuff! Consequently, Hansel and Gretel's packs weighed quite a bit upon leaving the store.
That evening, our favorite hikers slept soundly in comfortable beds; a real treat after a week of sleeping on the hard ground! The following morning, they went to church with people running the hostel. It was a Southern Baptist church and it happened to be youth day, so there was plenty of singing to be done! They all returned to an amazing breakfast or pancakes with blueberry syrup (homemade at the Blueberry Patch, naturally), sausage, cheese biscuits, eggs, orange juice, coffee. It was excellent! Then, Hansel and Gretel were driven back to the cross road where they emerged from the woods they day before and continued on their way.
That's all for now. Until next time, happy trails!