There was barely light in the sky when I heard giggling and coughing to the left of my tent- Gryllz and PITA were awake. Once I was actually awake enough to be awake of the outside world, I realized how ravenously hungry I was and started rummaging in my food bag in the near dark for anything that would deliver some quick calories. It was a cold night and I feel like my body uses even more calories on nights like that just trying to keep me warm. I ended up scarfing the last quarter of a bag of granola and then started to pack up.
My tent somehow wasn’t soaking wet this morning from condensation (not even damp!) and it wasn’t insanely cold so my morning process was actually somewhat enjoyable. When I finally got out of my tent, I realized that I was the only one moving- it was almost 6am and the other two had rolled over and were dozing as the sun crept higher. I told them I was almost ready and they got moving pretty quicky- cowboy camping takes a lot less work! I got more water from the pipe of life and began the steep trudge up to the windy campground at the top of the rise. There was a privy there and that is LUXURY first thing in the morning on trail! Halfway up, I was stunned by the sun rising over the mountains and had to take a moment to admire the beauty of it all.
Once I had made it to the campground and made use of its facilities, PITA and Gryllz made it there as well. We had coffee and tea, threw away our trash that we have been carrying for many miles, then were on our way.
The trail wound through a ski resort, weaving under ski lifts and between runs. We occasionally got a lovely blue-sky view, but generally were just focused on getting to town without breaking an ankle on a stupid rock. My knees were getting pretty upset with the rocky downhill trajectory but we finally made it to Inspiration Point, where the trail crosses a road and where hikers usually hitch to town. We wandered to the side of the road to try to catch a ride and were met by Dad Jokes. We all shared some snacks (Pop Tarts and candy, thru hiker fuel) and then a huge black pickup truck pulled into the parking lot from the opposide direction. We smiled at the driver who immediately asked if we were heading into town. Booyah- got a ride without even having to put out a thumb.
We followed the talk on the trail and headed straight to the hardware store, which had an entire section dedicated to hiker needs and supplies. They give hikers a PCT pin, have contact info for trail angels and have an area out back for hikers to tear apart their packs, organize a resupply, charge their devices, etc. We called a trail angel to make arrangements for the night and then left our packs at the hardware store to wander next door in search of brunch.
Cinnamon’s Bakery had amazing breakfast burritos and I could have eaten two. We went to the grocery and bought a resupply of food which cost me over $60 for 5 days of hiker calories- PITA spent nearly $100. Things are so much more expensive out here. We got a bit more organized and were then picked up by Jeff, our trail angel who was hosting us for the night.
Jeff took us back to his home, where we had two rooms with beds and a full bathroom. It turns out that Splash had also arranged to stay with Jeff he had a full house with the four of us stinky hikers. He has three dogs and a pony and has bicycles to ride to town if we so chose. We all got a shower, washed our clothes and cleaned/organized our stuff. We decided to head to town a bit later for dinner and rode the bikes the 1.5 miles downhill to the main street.
We visited the brewery for a local beer to start then headed to a small diner for food. Their veggie burger was great and we all drank way too much soda. It was dark when we finished and Splash and I walked our bikes back up the hill while Gryllz and PITA rode ahead. It turns out that despite hiking hundreds of miles, riding a bike uphill is still hard.
We had bought epsom salts at the store and took over the bathroom when we got back to Jeff’s. The water was way too hot and we didn’t fit comfortably, but we soaked our poor feet as best we could. Hopefully it helps my sore ankles. We soon headed to bed, looking forward to a soft bed in a climate-controlled room. Sweet dreams everyone.
Miles: 5 + 1.5 in town (total trail miles so far: 369.3)
Trail magic: 1
Hiked with: Gryllz, PITA
Camped with: Gryllz, PITA, Splash