Waking the laptop, I found the team of Moresailesed and TwoBeers was still –– actually still –– in the middle of the planned 40-mile portage. It's the likeliest spot to camp: at the base of a power tower, on a patch of mowed grass, a long stone's throw from the highway. I double-checked my data and sent a quick text to my team: Your last SPOT ping was blah blah blah, please press okay, it's 8:30 on Tuesday.
An hour later, I send another text: Your last SPOT ping was blah blah, please press okay, it's 9:30 Tuesday.
I hit refresh a few times, and voilá! movement. Thank you, I text them.
Then I doodle-bugged around with a short list of shore-crew duties, unpacking boxes of unused gear, doing laundry, losing my phone for 10 panicky minutes at a stretch.
Each time I slowed down near the computer, I refreshed the tracker and marveled: after walking for something like 18 hours yesterday, they are booking along with only –– only! –– 20-some miles to go.
And then they had walked all the way to Fargo, Georgia. Something like 58 miles in less than 36 hours.
Did I mention towing a canoe full of gear?
And the phone was ringing.
How are you, I asked. Did you beat the weather?
Not quite, TwoBeers said. But we are in the hotel room that almost didn't happen, and I have a really tall tallboy of Busch beer in front me.
How are the feet?
Not bad. Pause for examination. There's one blister at the base of my middle toe, and another one –– not pretty –– on my heel.
How are Moresailesed's feet? TwoBeers called out, with some mirth How are the feet? And without waiting for a response, he said, they are pretty bad. His boots didn't really work out.
No, not really, not me, he said. The shoulder was okay, the feet, the back, everything was okay. The calves were pretty sore. I didn't cry. He raised his voice, But JT might still cry, and they both laughed.
Yes, they had slept longer than they planned that morning. At 8, I said his name once, TwoBeers said, but he didn't even stir. He needed the sleep.
It had been a decent day, really: all the passing cars were considerate in sharing the road. No wildlife sightings, but the Chief stopped by!
The Fargo buffet was closed because it's Tuesday, and the long-anticipated steam trays of savory goodness in the convenience mart were nearly empty, but there was a ham-and-cheese sandwich waiting for him when he finished the beer.
Go! Eat! I said. Send pictures!