After two more ownership changes the current owners, Pat and Vickey Kelly, bought the hotel in 2001.
They have worked hard to make it more hiker friendly, but haven’t had the resources to do much more than keep the lights on. By their own admission they’ve come close to losing the hotel on a couple occasions.
The Kellys faced foreclosure in 2016 when they couldn’t make payments on the loan and taxes. Through the help of a GoFundMe campaign set up by a friend, however, more that $10,000 was raised to keep the business afloat.
It’s hard to say if the hotel is on its way to recovery. To be honest, I didn’t want to stay here, so when I learned there were no rooms available and that Stick had left, I was relieved.
Still, I had a chance to meet Pat and Vickey Kelly, and they were friendly and welcoming.
I also ran into Mechanic, who was staying there and was currently playing pool. He told me he was trying to catch up to Pippi.
Ah. The plot thickens with a hint of romance.
Mechanic told me Stick was headed to a church where hikers were allowed to stay in the basement, but he had only vague directions on where to find it.
I headed that way and had only walked one block when a van pulled up beside me. A window rolled down, Radio stuck his head out of it and shouted my name.
This was one of those events that might have been surprising were it not happening on the trail.
There was no room in the van, but Radio gave me better directions to the church.
About halfway there I ran into Stick, who was walking toward me. He said he was headed to a nearby convenience store to check out resupply options.
I told him about Radio and the van, which was a free shuttle provided by a local grocery store. We agreed to hold off on doing our resupply until tomorrow when we could use the grocery store shuttle ourselves. Then we walked to the church.