It was hard. It was cold. It was wet. I was tired. I was grumpy. I was wet.
I needed this day to be over. Nothing was particularly horrible, I was just off. We are allowed these struggles, from time to time, especially with all the good moments I've acquired. I remember the second I saw her in the driveway... She smiled and waved me down to the lodge. "Go take a shower and put your clothes in the wash. We had a wedding last night, so help yourselves to some leftovers, too. Dinner is on at our house in an hour... No, this isn't the B&B from your map, we don't charge a thing for you trampers."
Sally and John own a giant outdoor wilderness education center right on trail and have been taking care of the TA hikers from the beginning. I can't describe it. I don't know what to say. When your miserable day ends up to be the best. There were 10 of us at the dinner table, each given an ice cold beer to wash down the mint risotto and meaty cheesy pasta dream. They were experts on the Tararua Mountain range, too, and helped us all plan the next tough section. Thank you, Sally and John, from the top of my heart.