By the time I reached the parking lot where Ralph had parked his truck, the time was past 1:30 p.m. This was a little deflating to me because I had hoped to complete at least 20 miles today.
Flawless was there too and Ralph was trying to help her with her badly-blistered feet.
Ralph told me a man named Ron had trail magic for thru-hikers, including a cooler of cold drinks, so I walked over to him. The first thing he said to me was, “Gravity sucks.”
This comment caught me off guard. It took a second for me to realize Ralph had told him about me before I arrived. Ron was apparently trying to be funny with a play on words with my trail name. He wasn’t talking about me, per se, but still, I was a little put off at first by his comment.
Right after that I became annoyed with Ron. He told me I couldn't have any of his trail magic because Ralph was supporting me.
This was mystifying to me, but I chose not to protest, defend my thru-hiker credentials, or even point out a cold drink would be helpful on this warm day. Instead I abruptly said, “Okay,” and returned to Ralph’s truck.
I doubt I was able to hide my irritation with his dismissiveness.
It wasn’t long before Ron came over to the truck and said I could take a drink from his cooler.
“No,” I replied stoically. “You should save it for another thru-hiker,” repeating essentially what he had told me. He tried to insist I take a drink, but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction.
Were my feelings hurt? Did I over-react to his initial slight? Undoubtedly. Should I have been gracious and accept his reconsidered offer? Probably. After all, it was a hot day and the extra calories would have done me some good.
Instead, I stayed about 30 minutes longer, relaxing and eating one of my snacks. Ron and Ralph continued to give foot care advice to Flawless and helped to bandage her blisters.
In all, I stayed a little more than an hour, then said goodbye and resumed my hike.