Cowboy camping went well, although I didn’t find packing up in the morning to be much faster than usual. I got an early start while Mountain and Tallboy continued to sleep. It was already warm and muggy at 6am and only continued to get warmer. Flies were everywhere, flying into my face and buzzing in my ears. If I ever really hated someone and had magical powers, I would come back as a biting fly and buzz around them incessantly.
Mountain mentioned yesterday that I was limping and today I noticed that my left foot is hurting a little bit, like there are some tense muscles particularly in the heel. I want to pull over and massage them but when I try I’m swarmed by flies, so I pick up my pack and keep moving. I try to stop two more times in the shade but the flies don’t give me any relief.
When I reach the road I hear there is a shuttle moving hikers to Casa de Luna so I sit near the fire station to catch it – I don’t want to walk the 2 extra miles to the house. Within minutes a volunteer is back with a mini van. Her car smells amazing. We pile in and she tells us where the cafe and convenience store is before pulling up to Casa de Luna, also known as Hippie Daycare, also known as the Andersons. The Andersons have been hosting hikers for 18 years. A group of them are sitting out front on beds, couches and chairs. A band is playing guitars and bongo drums. It smells distinctly of weed. The volunteer tells us where to go and I walk past bucket laundry, hammocks, an outdoor shower and into a “forest” of manzanita trees in the back that is decorated with painted rocks from previous hikers.
I find a place to camp and set up my tent and then go hang out with the hikers up front. Nirvana is there, as are Roadshow, Sprite, Soulshine and several others. I change into a Hawaiian dress – everyone has to wear a Hawaiian shirt when they arrive. There’s a nail painting party going on but I don’t join. Instead I realize I’m tired and go find a hammock and fall asleep.
When I wake up I’m hungry and get a group of hikers together to go to the cafe. Patrick and Manuel (of The Swiss Boys) come along and when I forget to order fries with my BLT they let me have some of theirs. I drink a massive pina colada milkshake and waddle back to the house and just hang out.
At 7 or so, the famous Taco Salad is ready to be served. Terrie makes all of us wash our hands and has strict rules about not holding our plates over the serving dishes and several hikers get smacked with a wooden stick to remind them. It’s simple but delicious and I go back for seconds. After dinner Terrie makes us dance for our class bandanas which is fun and kind of hilarious.
At 8 or so, Rawhide walks in! She hiked 24 miles to get there. I walk her back to where I’m camped and shine a light as she sets up and then show her to taco salad.
We stay up and chat with a member of the band who is really interested in hiking named Gemini. Around 930 I’m sleepy and head to bed. Despite the noise up front, the forest is quiet and I fall asleep.