Day 62 — Trail Days Day 1
Tandem came to my tent around 6:45. I threw on my boots, and we headed to the Damascus Volunteer Fire Dept for a $5 “egg, bacon, and biscuits with gravy” breakfast. It wasn’t worth the $5, but it was for charity. After breakfast, we went down the street to Front Porch Ministry to get coffee and a free knit cap. They had handmade 800 of the caps for hikers, and I got a black one with yellow stripes for Georgia Tech.
We wandered back to the exhibitors’ area, which is in the park next to where we are camped and a half mile walk back to Tent City. We visited many of the vendor exhibits, concentrating on those that we had or wanted gear from. Each was friendly and helpful.
I stopped by the Big Agnes exhibit and talked to them about the tear in my tent netting, which I had repaired by sewing it shut. I wanted to know if I could have it done better by the Big Agnes repair team located back by tent city. They said to bring it by.
We got to the Kelty exhibit and they were handing out raffle tickets. We took a pair and waited for the 11:00 raffle. They gave away tents, sleeping bags, air pads, and hiking poles, in multiples. It was a very popular raffle. We didn’t win anything, but there would be another at 13:00.
We wandered back by the exhibits we had visited, seeing if they had anything going on. We grabbed our leftover Subway sandwiches, got a strawberry lemonade drink from a food vender, and enjoyed the meal at the picnic tables. After lunch, we split up. Tandem spent most of her time at the exhibit with Zach Davis, the author of “Appalachian Trials”, and his bloggers and followers.
I went back to my tent and was able to remove it from on top of my ground cloth and from under my tent fly, leaving the fly up in what may be my summertime configuration. I took the tent back to the Big Agnes guy, and he said that I had fixed it well enough to not go back to the repair tent in Tent City. It looked like rain, so I put it back together with the tarp just in case.
I hung out looking at the arts and crafts exhibitors and enjoying the live music. Later I went by to visit the Appalachian Trials exhibit and talked with Zach and his photographer, who had her pictures on exhibit. I also met her father, who she had thru hiked with in 2012. He and I spoke about hiking with our daughters, and I got tips on doing it, depending on how we are now. Tandem and I got our pictures taken, and they will be emailed to us. I signed up with the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association and will be getting a PDF of their trail guide in an email.
We got together later with Kozi and Bison and went over to the One Way Ministry for their coffee house, which included nachos, desserts, and hot beverages. After snacking there, we walked into town to the Blue Blaze and had pizzas and beer. The pizzas were late and underdone, so we asked for and got a 50% discount.
I left the bar with its loud DJ music around 22:00 and headed back to my tent to get some sleep.