We had a few offers for rides today and Wing-Heart’s offer worked out the best since he could fit all four of us and could stop right in Marion. We had meant to hike to Atkins but didn’t think we’d make it there before him so just stayed put instead. We checked out of the motel at the last possible moment then went to a Chinese buffet for lunch and proceeded to hang out on the patch of grass in the corner of the Walmart parking lot for the next several hours while waiting. Eventually Stretch went to the dollar store and bought kites, badminton, and whiffle ball, so we played around with those for a while. We’ll have them all of Trail Days and leave them in the hiker box before heading back to the trail. Quality purchase!
Wing-Heart pulled in to the lot in his RV and we all piled in. He had already picked up some other hikers and then we fit in a few more we saw on the road later. We are camped at The Place tonight and will decide tomorrow whether to stay here for the weekend or move down to Tent City when it opens in the morning. We hit up the Blue Blaze Cafe for dinner, expecting to see lots of familiar faces, but we have barely seen any since being in town. There are a lot less hikers overall than I was expecting but the fest really starts tomorrow so hopefully they’ll show up then. I had heard there’d be so many people that I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find anyone I knew in the crowd but that is definitely not a problem yet.