Hello all, it's Breeze.
Alas! Once again the town vortex has sucked us in, as we couldn't resist the temptation of a roof and a bed. But to be honest, it wasn't the bed, or the roof, that tempted us to stay. Small hiker towns such as Erwin, TN just have a way of grouping large amounts of thru hikers together. And when large amounts of thru hikers get together, everyone is bound to have a good time. Neither of us felt like we could pass this opportunity up. For instance, we talked at length to a retired photographer from Germany that lived on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall until his mid 30s. He was telling us that at the time he wasn't even allowed to visit a capitalist nation. We had a great time talking to Red Specs (his glasses have a red frame) even though the language barrier was rather difficult to circumnavigate at times. He was able to teach us a thing or two. Like the fact that Yuengling is German for young man. And we got to teach him a few things also! Like the fact that the English word for "beer making facility" is brewery. And we introduced him to America's greatest beer: Pabst Blue Ribbon! I'm not sure he was too impressed, but he politely drank it anyway. You may be wondering if we just talked about beer all night. Well of course that was all we talked about, what kind of silly question is that? I mean he's German...what else are we suppose to talk about?
Once Wendy and I decided to stay in town, we headed to the nearest grocery story and stocked up on tons of microwavable food! We got chicken tenders and General Tso's chicken and all sorts of good stuff. Once we got done shopping, we sat out in the parking lot trying to get a ride back to the hostel. After a few polite rejections, I approach one lady and say, "Excuse me ma'am, would you mind doing us a favor?" To which she immediately responds, "No, I don't have any cash" and promptly walks away.
Woah woah woah, waaaaaiiiiittttt, WHAT? Hold on just a second there. Did she just imply that we looked homeless? Wendy and I looked at each other in disbelief and slight embarrassment. We've joked many times in town that we must look homeless. Being talked down to like you're homeless is a totally different story. We spent the next few minutes sitting on the parking lot's bench laughing and pulling ourselves together. Right as we were shaking off the remark, another passersby walks up to me and sincerely says, "Hey man, I've got 80 cents if you think that'll help." Advice from a thru hiker: Don't offer a man with a backpack coins. Coins are heavy. We do however accept bills :)
Wendy and I have had a great day in Erwin. We chowed down on awesome microwave food and even got to watch "A Bug's Life". What an awesome movie, right? Life is good.
Happy NFL draft weekend!