The clinic called in the morning to say that they had an opening in the afternoon for Rally and I. We were thrilled; I was excited to finally experience the trail while in full health.
We had breakfast at the Red Kettle and got in touch with Karaoke and Honeybear for dinner plans. In the meantime Rally and I hung out at the Silver Pines Lodge in the beautiful, rustic living room. She played piano while I sat on the couch, rummaging through my food. So much of what I packed just wasn’t going to be eaten. Trail mix, peanut butter, tortillas… all for the hiker box.
Canadoug and the Canadians came by for a while, as well as other hikers we knew – Shaggy, Bangarang and Pam… After a while one of the employees came by to tell us they had a collection of videos we could watch. Rally was in and out of the video room in a moment.
“They have Pride and Prejudice!” She exclaimed, holding up the DVD. “We are so watching this tonight.”
In the afternoon we walked to the clinic where we filled out new patient forms. When I got to the part about exercise I hesitated and then wrote, “daily walking”.
The doctor was very sympathetic.
“You definitely have a sinus infection,” she concluded after checking my throat, ears and breathing. “I’m going to give you some antibiotics. That should knock it right out. I’ll also give you some cough syrup with codeine to help you sleep.”
“I’m so happy right now, I could cry,” I said.
“You can also take a hot toddy before bed,” she suggested.
“That’s the best prescription I’ve ever had.”
At the pharmacy I saw Francis come in as I perused the sunglasses rack
“Francis, can you help me pick out some sunglasses?” I asked. She picked out a selection of neon wayfarers, which I switched on and off with a simple round pair. “What do you think – normal? Or sassy?” I slipped on a bright red pair.
“Sassy.” She said. A guy standing by the counter pointed at me.
“Sassy!” He agreed. “Sassy, for sure!”
I ended up buying the boring practical pair, though, since I was likely to lose then eventually and didn’t want to get attached.
We went to the local pizza place for dinner where we reunited with Karaoke and Honeybear. Karaoke wasn’t going to get back on trail, but Honeybear would meet with us later. We decided that to cover the miles we hitched over, Squatchie, Rally, Justa and I would walk back to the trailhead 17 miles away – we’d be going backwards, which I thought was kind of fun.
That night we invited Francis and Lisa over to stay in our room. The six of us sat around on the couch and the floor and watched Pride and Prejudice while eating ice cream. I took some of my cough syrup before the movie and crawled into bed halfway through, slowly drifting off to the sound of dramatic music and British accents. As I fell asleep I thought about how the trail felt so far away.