Grossgemeindenstein to Siegen
There's this one thing with thru-hiking: you keep moving, have to. Things around you keep changing. Be it the landscape, the food, the people, the weather.
You constantly keep leaving things behind. Mostly good things, but not only.
All you take with you are memories.
Sometimes it is not easy for me to leave things behind. For example leaving the Norwegian mountains for the Swedish forest, leaving a comfortable, warm bed of trail angels for rain and wind outside. It's simply part of the game. And it's a part I love about thru hiking.
Because change can also be the other way. Mosquitoes, mud,... Also these hot days, the sorry looking forest which I am currently experiencing are only temporary. They won't last forever. They will be gone eventually. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in a week, maybe a month. Different things will come my way. Better, worse? I'll walk and see, expecting the unexpected.
With this in mind I make an early start into my day. Trying to beat the heat. It's warm already when I start though, luckily getting considerably cooler once I drop down into the Ilse River Valley, which I'm following for a couple of kilometers. Sometimes the trail is impassable due to fallen trees blocking my way, so I use the road instead. No problem, as I have the road for myself on this early Sunday morning. Highlight, if you want to call it that way, is the Heiligenborn Spring. Apparently, its water can cure all kind of diseases. Despite feeling completely healthy, I refill my water bottle, enjoying a sip of the ice cold water.
The rest of the walking day is fairly unspectacular. A thin, high cloud layer is blocking the sun. It's muggy. Yet, it's a bit easier to walk. Around noon I stumble across the second highlight: a cherry tree. Nothing special about that per se, as I have passed hundreds of them, but this one, standing in the parking lot of Aldi, is full of more or less ripe cherries. Finally, I can eat them. My hiking poles come handy as I can use them to grab some higher limbs.
From the cherry tree in Deuz it's only another 3 hours to Siegen. I let my trail angels, who will host me for two days (I'll do a zero day here. After roundabout 1000 kilometers and 3 weeks, which took me halfway across Germany, I want to give my body a day to recover), know about my ETA of 15:00. An early finish after a comparably short day. On the last couple of meters, some tiny droplets of rain are falling on my head. Change - the only constant in a thru-hiker's life.
7 minutes before 3 I ring the door bell. Gabi, my wonderful host, let's me in promptly. After a quick tour around the house I head straight into the shower. Important things first.
I head down again for some bread and cheese and a Miami Flip - orange juice with vanilla ice cream. Super refreshing after such a day.
Two days ago, Gabi asked my what I'd like for dinner. I replied a local dish would be nice.
She tells me, she had to think hard about what to cook. But found something. Something with potatoes. I'm looking forward to that a lot, curios what she will cook for me!