Life is good again! First of all I am experiencing a lot of trail magic. It started with a nice break in Salisbury, CT where I went to see Redmond and his sister in Pine Plains, NY. Redmond is American but has spend a lot of time in Germany where I had met him. It was weird to see him in the US for the first time. We had a great evening at his sister's place eating barbecued steak! I got all cleaned up (included my finger blister), washed my toxic hiker clothes and started to look like a normal human being again. And best of all the blister of my infected finger finally busted - I nearly fainted when all the puss came out, but the finger is healing pretty well now and I hope to be able to use all 10 fingers again pretty soon. Redmond brought me back to the trail and it took exactly 17 minutes before the sky had another one of its diarrhea outbreaks and all my nice clean clothes were soaking wet and dirty again...
Radar on the beach
Only 2 days later I am now staying with Radar whom I had met on the PCT in 04. He picked me up from the trail but he forgot to mention how far away he lived - it was a very long drive and I felt a bit bad about causing so much effort. We had not arranged an exact pick up place in town. Radar insisted that he would find me anyways through his hiker instinct - and he was right. He had first gone to the outdoor store where he was told that a tall German hiker had just come through. He had then tried the cafe assuming that I would eat breakfast and when he could not find me there he looked into the library where he eventually found me. Thruhikers are so predictable.... Radar lives in a fantastic huge house that feels like a luxury hotel. We even made a trip to the sea and ate fish and chips. It is so nice to talk trail all the time and exchange memories of the good old PCT times. I just wonder how long it will take until I am soaked again once I hit the trail.
But not only meeting old friends is nice, the trail has become really nice now, too. There are a lot of pastures and fields and even some nice relaxing (=flat) river walks. I am eating most of the time and I happily realized that everything is bigger in this country - not only the thunderstorms, but also the blueberry bushes which helps while harvesting them while hiking. They are so tall that I did not recognize them as blueberries first....
The only bad thing that happened recently that I finally met another sobo single hiker my age and as soon as I had caught up to her she had to leave the trail because of a sprained ankle. I still hope to meet you somewhere somehow, not Mother. I really admired her: She was hiking the AT despite suffering from MS - and she has such a positive attitude and some pretty amazing stories to tell about her life.