Last night while at Walmart, I purchased a bottle of Permethrin, an insect repellent that is sprayed directly on clothing. It will last up to six weeks or six washings. Stick and I were both due for a new application, so I agreed to split it with him.
This needed to be done after our clothes were washed and the application should be dry before wearing. We decided to wait until this morning to treat the clothing, but that meant allowing extra time.
We awoke at 6 a.m. and sprayed the Permethrin on our clothes. We did that outside the back door of the motel so we wouldn’t be spraying a harsh chemical inside.
The instructions said to allow the clothing to dry for two hours, so we hung them and went to the motel lobby for breakfast.
Dory, Splat, and Mama Splat arrived in the lobby as we were preparing to leave, but we had a quick chat with them.
Once our clothes were sufficiently dry, we dressed and finished packing.
Ralph was leaving us today, so he had made plans to hire a shuttle to transport him back to Harpers Ferry where he left his car. When he called to make arrangements, he also asked the driver to take Stick and me back to the trail, which was just outside of town.
The driver, Frank, arrived this morning earlier than scheduled. He was driving a subcompact, which barely had enough room for three passengers. There wasn't enough room for three passengers and three large backpacks.
Also complicating the situation, Frank seemed confused about who he was transporting. He said he had talked to a hiker name John.
John? We didn't know anyone on the trail by their real name. We thought maybe that was Mechanic, but after some time looking around the motel we couldn’t find Mechanic.
Eventually, Stick and I loaded ourselves and our gear into the subcompact, then said our goodbyes to Ralph. Frank took us to the trail first, with the intention of coming back for Ralph. As befuddled as Frank seemed to be, I hoped he remembered to do that.
We were dropped off at the trailhead at 9:30. While running across the road to avoid traffic, one of my camp shoes became unhooked from the carabiner attaching it to the outside of my pack. Just by happenstance, I turned back and in a glance saw the shoe lying in the middle of the road.
That was a lucky break, and I was glad to retrieve the shoe. Though I don’t wear them every evening when we get to camp, I often do. I also expect they’ll be useful when I reach Maine, where there are several stream crossings.
The weather warmed up quickly as we began to walk. It wasn’t long before my freshly-laundered clothes were soaked in sweat.