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April 26 2023, Stealth Site to Gravel Springs Hut:
My energy was in a quiet space today. I felt really introverted and didn’t want to talk to anyone. It was funny because the moment I felt gratitude for the quietness, I made it down to the road and a massive bus pulled into the parking space. The second my foot touched the pavement, the driver opened the door and a bunch of kids came running out.
“For fucks sake,” I said under my breath.
As soon as they saw my backpack, they asked if I was a thru-hiker. When I said yes, they excitedly asked if I could do a presentation for the class. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared stories of what my day to day life looked like on trail. I remember in high school I used to tell my teachers I would rather take a zero instead of speak in front of the class. Didn’t expect to find myself doing it so nonchalantly. Afterwards, we all took a photo and parted ways.
Overall it was a pretty chill day with some scattered light rain. It felt refreshing in comparison to the cold days in Georgia and North Carolina when it was sleeting/hailing. I saw two red cardinals along my path this morning. Then, the only person I ran into for a while was a guy named Pinky. We chatted for a bit because he knew my friend Pringles!
I spent the night in the Gravel Springs Shelter. I only went because I heard there were two Ridgerunners there—figured it would be fun to flirt with them for shits and gigs. One of them was married and seemed very shy and sporadic around me, especially when I eye fucked him numerous times. I made it very obvious I wanted a taste of him, which in turn had him bringing up his wife in conversation a lot.
Before going to bed, I had a variety of hikers warn me about a crazy rat named Annabelle that had made a nest underneath the shelter and apparently stole things during the night. I decided to take my chances, so I slept in the shelter alone.