Day 18 – Doc Campbell’s Post

May 9, 7.5 miles / 192.7 total hiked

This morning, we only had 3.5 miles to hike before reaching Doc Campbell’s Post which is a store, laundry, showers out in the middle of nowhere, it seems.  They open at 10:00 AM, but there were several hikers already there on the front porch around 9:00 AM when we got there, so a woman stuck her head out the front door and said that they will open at 9:30 AM to shorten the wait time for us.  (She said that they were busy making the homemade ice-cream, too.)  It is now owned by a third generation family member – Doc’s granddaughter.  We spoke with the son of Doc and he said that Doc’s used to have a bad reputation, but it is now improving and they are making efforts to assist the CDT hikers and supply what will help them most.  (Doc and his wife have both passed away.)  We spoke with his son for quite a while.  We did not get his name, but he was wearing a baseball cap that said “Chaplain” which is what he is.  He told us stories of living off the grid with his wife, about him having cattle and a lead dog named “Candy”, who when the dog was only 2 years old, had an accident and broke his neck.  He was still able to work and help him lead cattle.  They apparently had a wonderful working relationship – he even got teary-eyed talking about her.  He was a very nice guy and it was nice getting to hear about his life experiences.  So different from what we have experienced in our own lives, living in the suburbs.

There was another fellow who worked there and he was only like 10-12 years old.  I was wondering about school and whether he just took the day off or was home-schooled.  The Chaplain said that he and his wife were covering the store for two days so his daughter could go into town to do research on making Doc’s run more smoothly and efficiently.  I didn’t get his name, either, but I wish I did.  He was sitting at the register checking people out, unlocking the laundry room and shower doors for us, and even sweeping off the front porch.  He had his act together and was practically running the place.  I see BIG SUCCESS in his future.

One weird thing that was there, though, was when we got our showers and used the restroom.  Keith made a comment,  “You will have an interesting experience when using it.”  I thought… hmm… what is he talking about??  And then later, I used it and sat down.  Wow… weirdest thing ever.  The heat coming up from below!  Usually, you think of ice-cold porcelain toilets and coolness coming from them, but not on this one.  It was not comfy using it at all.  It was like steam coming up from below.

Peak of the day:  Meeting some very nice folks who run Doc Campbell’s Post, taking a shower, and doing laundry.

Valley of the day:  Sitting on a commode which steams your behind.  Ugh…