May 4 - Black Bear Resort (416.5)

Short hike today as Hermes and I decided to do try two things: stay at the the Kincora Inn, a hiker hostel, for a zero, and try and do a slack pack tomorrow over the coming Pond Flats, elevation 3,706 and about 14 miles. 

I'm out at 6:55 and make the road before Kincora three hours later just after I run into Toasted Toad, Nobody and Swiss Miss, who say there's sickness at Kincora. Walk up to Kincora and a host of 20's are leaving. Meet Lumpy, the caretaker, and he shows me around, saying pick any bunk you want. The place is rustic, communal, so I pick a bunk but decide it's probably not a good fit. 

Return to road to go to Black Bear Resort, another hostel 0.7 miles in the other direction. Join the host of 20's who are heading to the trailhead, and pick up Hermes coming up the hill. Bid good trails to the 20's, and hike to Black Bear. As we come up a pickup is pulling out, hikers lean out and ask if we want to go to McDonalds? 1,500+ calories in minutes? Yes!

Down to McD's and owners' Dad ("OD", the driver) says we can pick up steaks and grill them for dinner  We agree, he drops us off for an hour, and when he returns he's already bought rib eyes for all of us (reimbursable on our tab).

OD agrees to drive for Hermes slackpacking idea for tomorrow, and by the end of the day as others arrive, it appears this is what "everyone" wants to do. 

There's a bunkhouse, but it's mostly cabins and we chose one of the cabins with four beds but can stay in with two people.

Dinner is kind of fun as we cobble together baked potatoes (7 minutes in the microwave, rest on the grill), seven (!) steaks for five people, grilled tomatoes, buttered and seasoned mushrooms, and a cheese and fruit platter Hermes got on a second supply run. Beer from the office. Others join our group, which is American, Swiss and German. Lots of fun.


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