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Kindness in Strangers

Legs cramping, stomach grumbling, sweating out the final few miles along a logging road is how we arrived in the little "town" of Woss. Once again, our maps had been inaccurate, claiming we had 30 less miles in between resupply points than we actually had. Our food was low, our packs light, our stomachs empty. Food was on the mind, and only another day or two until the town of Port McNeil where we could take a break, but how great it would be to have a burger or a meal!

When we arrived at the little corner store, we realized quickly that this was the one and only business within Woss. They used to have a restaurant but it had been another casualty of the current times. Hence the reason that the word "town" is in parenthesis because only along the loosest definitions could it be considered such. Yet, for us this little corner store turned into our oasis.


Sitting underneath the Woss Service sign our little bench of heaven quickly filled with sodas, chips, and Oscar Meyer pre-made sandwiches from the fridge. It was about 6 P.M. and our bellies were filling but our battery packs remained empty. Between mouthfuls and swigs of corner store bliss we scanned the maps for a place where we could charge our gear. It was only another day or two max to the town of Port McNeil, but when in the back country if relying on your phone for maps, GPS, and the occasional Podcast for entertainment, extra juice (portable energy) is a necessity. While we could comfortably get away with the next section by studying the Topo lines (Topographical Maps which show elevation lines) and knowing the majority of it followed an old rail bed, it was not our preferred method.

There was really no place to charge anything within Woss. No restaurant, no laundromat, no library (that was open), no business besides the one we found ourselves gorging on food underneath their sign. Well, maybe the locals would know of a secret establishment, it was at least worth a shot. And hey, while talking to the corner store owner another muffin or two might find its way across the counter as well... win-win. Stiffly moving the muscles that had just started to relax after pushing a quick 28 miles that day and complaining about the break, I shambled into the corner store again to ask.

Picture the scene: A bearded man, that smells of sweat, exertion, and that oh so special smell that can only be acquired from multiple days in the back country. You know the one of dirt, grime, and that pungent smell that you can not only taste but see float off of you as well. A first impression was not a strong suit with this repertoire of accolades. Maintaining a respectable distance so this smell did not assault the nostrils of an innocent by-stander I politely asked if there was anywhere to charge any of our devices.