Saturday, February 4: There was lots to do, and some decisions to make. After a great breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express, I gathered my things and headed-off to the Hiwassee Post Office.
Whether it be small towns or larger communities, the US Post Office has served as an essential link for hikers and their families. In 1972 a significant lifeline to my family were the many Post Offices along the AT! After arriving in a town, I’d call my parents “collect” and let them know how I was and how the hike was going… Then, I’d tell them the next town I expected to use, to resupply. To that town’s Post Office, my parents would send (among other things) a postal money order. Now it is even easier… I only need to have a debit card to get up to $50.00 cash, plus collect, send or forward mail. Today, the US Postal Service does everything our “founding fathers” intended: to secure “freedom of speech” regardless of where you might live, here in the United States. Unfortunately, our government believes this this cost to be too high. What irony that we all enjoy this freedom…and yet some put a price on it, that is deemed too much. Fortunately, for those of us who truly depend on the US Mail as a lifeline (paychecks, retirement checks, disability checks, money orders or cash via debit transactions), the Post Offices along the AT and elsewhere, continue to exist, regardless of location!
After mailing-back-home, those items I believed to be excessive, I headed to the local Radio Shack, to determine if they could help me with my cell phone issues. At the Hiawassee Radio Shack I was greeted by both a customer representative and the store’s manager and owner: Mr. Ashley Eller. It was decided that my cell phone was something that would best be worked-out with Verizon. So after determining that the Verizon store (still in Hiawassee, some six miles away) was open, Mr. Eller drove me to the store. There, he waited as the Verizon representatives took care of my cell phone needs, and then Ashley promptly dropped me back to where I started, at his own store! Yes, another “trail angel.” Later, I had lunch at Daniel’s Steak House, enjoying for a second time, the salad bar. I made my way back to the hotel, and spent the balance of this “slack day” resting, and writing more on my blog. I was also able to get a few more things done on the hotel’s guest computer.
Before dinnertime, I made my way to the local IGA, Dill’s Food Center, and picked-up a few more food items for my hike. The balance of my evening I stepped out the side door of the hotel and used my stove to cook dinner. I also gave Bill a call, asking if he’d mind returning me to Unico Gap the next morning? He agreed to meet me at 8:30 a.m. Before I went to sleep, my pack was all set, and I felt pretty good. The only thing really bothering me was my back. 0 miles, 52.9 on the AT.