Gretel watched her clothes spin around in the washing machine as she called me from the Laundromat in the “lame-o” town of Glasgow while Hansel and Two Bad went to the grocery store to find “some kind of lame dinner.” So far everything about Glasgow was falling short of expectations. The hotel they had planned to stay at had closed down. Then they went to a shelter-type-thing for hikers to take a shower, but there was no hot water. Gretel said she had to exhale deep breaths so she didn’t suffocate from the shock of the ice cold water. Hansel spent his shower shouting, “Ooooh! Oh! Oh! Oooh! Ohh!” which Gretel overheard as she was braiding her hair outside the shower area. There was a restaurant listed in the Trail Guide book, but that had closed down. When they asked a Glasgow local, they were told that there was another restaurant across the railroad tracks… but actually it was closed on Mondays. Finally they heard about some kind of deli that sold Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches. Gretel, being a vegetarian, asked if the boys could bring her a cheese steak sandwich without the steak. They still have three more days of hard hiking ahead of them before our family friends (who also happen to be the owners of an awesome bed and breakfast) pick them up in Montebello.
Tonight they will be staying at Johns Hallow Shelter, which is exactly 777 miles from Springer Mountain where they started in Georgia!
I know you are all wondering how Two Bad is fairing. Gretel reported he is doing quite well. Today was a bit rough for him because their hike was characterized by an excess of downhills, which tend to be a little painful for his two bad knees. Other than that, he is feeling pretty good and getting into the swing of the hike. One of the problems he encountered was the very same blister issue Gretel had in her first few weeks on the Trail. The difference between Gretel and Two Bad, is that Gretel can actually reach her feet to tend to her blisters. Two Bad’s hips sometimes prevent such luxuries, so he had to request a hand from his children. (Warning: the next few sentences might sound a little nasty.) Two Bad asked Gretel to help him pop his blisters the first night, but the second night she had to decline on account that such a task is a little too high on the Gross Scale.
“I’m sorry Dad, but I just can’t do that again. You’re going to have to ask Hansel.”
Luckily Hansel was able to take care of Two Bad’s feet and then they covered the blisters in duct tape for the hike the next day.
Shoe tying is also a bit of an issue for our dear Two Bad. His hips are particularly stiff in the morning, so Hansel has been lending a hand with shoes too. He usually loosens up over the course of the day though. At one point in the hike he stopped and said,
“Hold on, I think I need to tighten my boots.”
“You mean I need to tighten your boots,” replied Hansel.
“No, no, I think I can reach them now.” And with some degree of effort, Two Bad tied his shoes all by himself. Hooray! (Thanks Vincent* for helping my dad with his flexibility and his endurance! We all know that without you, this hike would have been a LOT harder!)
Until next time, happy trails!
*Vincent is a wonderful family friend as well as an incredible personal trainer. Over the years he has trained the whole family and now he has his own business, Westfield Fitness Studio. You can see a picture of Two Bad pumping iron in the second photo down on the website. If you are local and want to do something great for your body, I highly recommend visiting Vincent! He’s amazing!
Hansel, Gretel and Two Bad crossing the longest footbridge on the AT