I got a ride outside of a convenience store right next to the on-ramp to the interstate. About 1/8 of a mile down the hi way, I realized I left my poles on the sidewalk. The couple who picked me up were nice (and patient) enough to wait in the breakdown lane for me to run back up the hill to the store and retrieve my poles. Talk about trail angels! Luckily for me, that was the end of my forgetful phase.
Back on the trail, I was once again, leapfrogging with other hikers through some pretty easy terrain. Once again, the smell of smoke was in the air and the views were hazy at best.
Since I was full from so much good food, and since the terrain was pretty do-able, I decided 20 miles was reasonable (even though I didn't get hiking until 11:15. Unfortunately for me, at the campsites at the 20 mile mark, I was in for an unpleasant surprise.
A guy who was car-camping had spread all his stuff out, including taking the back seat out of his mini-van and was taking up 6 tent sites. He had milk crates full of junk, lounge chairs, a fold up table, a clothes line between trees, a gigantic 6 man Coleman tent, and lots of "tools" strewn about. All for just one person. Of course, after months of carrying everything you need on your back, this just seemed a bit excessive. Reminds me a lot of how it is when you get back from the trail to the "real" (fake) world. We all surround ourselves with so much stuff that we don't really need. We have TVs and radios and cable news on all the time, filling our head with junk we don't need, as well. On look at this campsite, and I knew I needed to keep moving. It was all just so overwhelming and unnecessary.
Two and a half miles later, a nice flat area slightly smaller than the one I had just passed up, 7 of us thru-hikers comfortably spent the night. Plus, there was a water source close by, so it was the better choice anyway!
Peace, Love, and trail magic!