Pct miles: 406.6 to 427
I got a late start out of camp because we got in late and I was tired. And I also hadn’t taken the time to get water the night before so I went to do that, but didn’t bring my scoop cup, so that took an immense amount of time for little return. Lynn ended up giving me some of her extra unfiltered water.
Once I finally got going I took a detour to the pit toilet and finally got to poop in a toilet (rather than in a cathole a mile away from a toilet.)
Not long after I left Yoav and Dean came up behind me. I stepped aside to let them pass but they insisted I hike between them and Yoav preceded to rant about the trail and some of the attitudes on it. He was clearly upset by the way some hikers had treated him (it can get cliquey out here.) We chatted a little and I ended up hiking with them for most of the morning. They also told me they’re trying to go to Six Flags for the weekend. Their pace kept me moving and we got through a lot more miles than I would have otherwise. It tends to be hard for me to get myself moving in the morning.
Yoav and Dean ended up pulling aside to call home since they had service and I continued on.
I was headed for the fire station and bumped into a day hiker who talked a little bit about the area. When we reached the fire station he got me a cold water out of his car. Trail magic! So nice.
Lynn was there and walked me down to where everyone was sitting – in front of a bathroom. It didn’t look too shady and I was hot and Yoav and Dean were sitting under some trees so I sat with them instead. Yoav gave me some tortilla chips because I’d run out of salty snacks and I gave Dean a Snickers bar. I stayed until the wind started making me cold and another male hiker joined and the conversation took a turn for the lewd. I got my pack together and sat with Lynn, Scissors, Tarantino, Mousetrap, Tallboy and Mountain. The vibe is a little weird in this group, to be honest, and although we keep bumping into each other it often doesn’t feel especially friendly. I don’t know. They’re funny. So there is that. We were literally laying in front of the pit toilets and making jokes about how bad the people in the cars must need to poop to come and ask us to move for them to go to the bathroom.
Slowly everyone started making moves to do the final miles of the day. I was trying to figure out our water/camp plan with Scissors and Lynn but I guess they’d already discussed it at length because as I was confirming Lynn said, “you’re really stressing me out” and Scissors agreed. It hurt my feelings even though I knew it was just a moment of frustration.
I excused myself and started hiking and the comment fueled me up the mountain. Normally Lynn is faster than me but she didn’t catch me. Instead I ran into Mousetrap and Tarantino and realized there wasn’t water where we’d expected though there were tent spaces, so went another mile to find water but then no camping. I probably would have cried if they hadn’t been there – instead we checked the map and filtered water and kept going, anticipating a flatter area that might have camping spaces. At one point, about a mile later, we noticed several little trails going steeply up the mountain we were walking along. “Is there something up there?” “There has to be, who wants to check it out?” So Tarantino took off his pack and walked with his pole straight up the hill. He got out of hearing range and Mousetrap and I started guessing – “there has to be something there” “I bet he’s scouting out his spot.”
Instead he came back a few minutes later. “No flat spots.” He got back to the bottom and took of his wind jacket. “I have never been this sweaty in my life.” But then as soon as we rounded the corner we were pounded with wind and he started freezing.
We rounded a few more corners and Mousetrap was standing there: “I see a tent.” As we got closer we saw that there were even more tents above us – a campsite! We climbed up. The wind was blowing and a cloud was climbing over the mountain. I set my tent up quickly and realized I’d set up next to an old power line – we were camping in a burned area with lots of remnants of the fire. It probably would have been creepy but all of the hikers there just made it feel like camp.
It was super cold so I went pee and then climbed in my tent. It was too windy to cook, I was low on no-cook food, and it was the first time I’d had cell service in days. So… I didn’t cook dinner. I didn’t eat. I updated my blog and texted my friends and fell asleep.