We were all headed north. Jonas and I arrived at the Nantahala Outdoor Center on October 17th. This is an oasis on the Appalachian Trail. Lisa arrived hours later, and was invited by Justin to dine with our group. Justin and Mike were two hikers we'd already met. The entire lot of us took up a table until late.
I noticed immediately that Lisa is specifically extra cool. As we talked, our facts and opinions meshed well. Her attitude and interests were exactly correct. Anybody hiking the entire trail alone is somewhat of an automatic badass. It takes five or six months for most people, which is a lot of time in the woods. I didn't know it at the time, but she made an alcohol stove from a soda can, which has been part of her equipment for more than ten years. It's a small detail, but a badass one. Yes, she is definitely cool.
I let her borrow my shower card. All of us dudes paid to stay in a bunkhouse. Lisa was sleeping down by the river for free. Any traveler can usually use a shower. So I used my card to let her in.
We hung out on the porch of the bunkhouse for a couple hours. We talked and became friends. I told Lisa about my book business and gave her my phone number. I told her to text me when she got home if she was really interested - and I'd explain how to get started with doing the job I hired myself for.
She did text; we did talk. It was helpful to me because I was lonely at the time. I wanted to talk to friends, and it was great to have a new one to type at.
Now we met again in person. We are working on business a little bit, but leaving plenty of time to have fun.