I woke up this morning thinking I was sleeping in my tent on a cliff – only to realize I was just off the floor, on a bed. I laid in bed a while before getting my things together. As I did that, I realized I’d lost my credit card at some point the day before. Crap. I figured I would try to retrace my steps and hope I would find it. I said goodbye to Lynn and figured I’d see her for breakfast a little later.
Good news – my first stop was Jensen’s, the grocery store, and they had my card. So incredibly lucky. People can be really amazing.
I bought an extra dinner and picked up some new Tyvek from the hardware store (I’d somehow gotten some really thin, cloth-like Tyvek that kept getting tons of cheatgrass and other bits and pieces stuck to it and was tired of carrying half the desert around with me.) As I was doing errands, Karma invited me to breakfast at the Airbnb that Twerk had rented so I headed over there. They made a massive feast and it was a house full of people and it was chaotic and pretty lovely.
After we’d finished cleaning after breakfast Rawhide and I got our packs together and started heading to town. I saw Caddy, Hobo, Mike and Cate sitting outside the bakery and joined them and caught up. It was getting clearer that Rawhide and I weren’t quite ready to leave town. I’d been craving a burrito for days so I suggested we go get some Mexican food for lunch and we did. Afterward I was really full and really sleepy so I took my pack across the street and took a nap in a little park that was swarming with lady bugs.
After my nap Rawhide was ready to hitch out. We hadn’t really decided how far we wanted to go – there was a place to camp one mile in, two miles in, or seven miles in and halfway up the climb to Baden-Powell.
We got a ride from a local who gives a lot of people rides. We hadn’t even stuck our thumbs out yet and he was telling us to throw our bags in the back. It’s interesting to be a woman out here because I feel like my spidey senses are always on trying to assess whether the person I’m accepting help from is safe. I’ve gotten lucky that a lot of the help I’ve received has been from other women, or a sheriff, or in large groups. I didn’t feel unsafe with this driver but there were a few comments made that were a little questionable but probably harmless. It was interesting to see the ways that Rawhide and I tried to take them in stride.
We got to the trail and walked for about 15 minutes and were at the first potential campsite, where we found Mountain and Tallboy sitting. They’d decided to camp for the night and after some hemming and hawing we decided to join them.
Soon more of our friends – Tarantino, Mousetrap, Rachel, etc – joined us. Twerk and Karma and Nirvana continued on.
We sat around and chatted and tried not to eat our entire food bags and watched the sunset. Tomorrow it’s back to the trail for real – I’m hopeful I won’t have the leaving-town blues since we’re already out here. I’m excited to get up bright and early and summit Baden-Powell and enjoy the last of the cool high altitude air while I can – the real desert awaits us below.
Today is my one month trail anniversary. It’s both hard to believe and not at all. I am getting used to walking for hours and hours. I am getting used to sleeping on the ground. Carrying the things that will keep me alive. Forgetting about things like jobs and bills and what it was that I used to spend all my time doing, spend all my time thinking about.
It is still difficult. I can only imagine the hardest parts are still to come, when the mental challenge of the trail starts to overtake the physical challenges. But there’s nothing I can really do about that now. All I can do is walk.
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