View from Gronk's spot at the Tri-Corner Knob Shelter
In the last one, the bandaid is explained because Gronk's nose started peeling from a sunburn and then weather and other events conspired to keep the peeling from healing, so he finally put a bandaid over his nose. [He says he doesn't like the bandaid but I think it is part of the story.]
The last word I had was tonight, when he called to say he was safe in town (Newport TN). He and Bonjour are sharing a room at the Motel 6. When they got the shuttle into town, they piled out at the Motel 6 and regrouped to head off to the Walmart. That's when they realized their motel was on the wrong side of the Interstate I-40 and it was a long slog to get across it. Then, when they got to the Walmart, the Vision Centre was closed, so Gronk couldn't get his glasses fixed. Bummer. Bonjour had gone off to get something and when he came back, he saw that Gronk had been conversing with a local man who seemed to be enjoying the talk. Bonjour then prevailed upon the man to drive them back to the motel, which sounds ridiculous but it was easier than walking and trying to cross an interstate on foot.
They went for a late (after 8pm) dinner at a restaurant right by the motel. They had been hiking in heavy mist much of the day and were looking out the window when Gronk said, "someone should wipe down the condensation on the glass." They could hardly see out the window and that's when they realized it was pouring rain outside. Just then, the lights went off. The power was still off at 9:30pm when we were talking on the phone. At the restaurant, they seemed to have a generator because the lights came back on for a few moments, but then went out again. They weren't sure how they were going to pay, as the cash register and Visa machines would all be not working. Bonjour only had a $100 bill. A likely story! (Actually, likely true as one $100 bill weighs less than five $20s.) They scrambled for change and apparently, made it through dinner and out okay.
When I talked with Gronk, they were rinsing out laundry in the tub because the laundromat wasn't working (still no power anywhere in town) and hanging it up to dry. Today was his longest hiking day to date at 15.7 miles, plus the one mile to the Walmart. I asked about MacGyver and he has gone on ahead. He didn't want to spend the night in Newport. Gronk hopes he was okay in the downpour. They may meet up again in Hot Springs.