Mile 42 – Mile 47.5 +.5
I wake up with my feet propped up and my pink down quilt wrapped around me. I was chilly in the cabin last night so used my sleeping bag/quilt for extra warmth. It’s kind of early – I anticipated sleeping in since I have this comfy bed – but since I’m up I decide to do some work on my blog. I schedule five posts to go up this week and feel very excited about it, although the WordPress app leaves a lot to be desired and uploading photos takes forever. I may end up not including as many photos in these posts and just directing you all to my Instagram. We’ll see.
I do a quick and dirty resupply at the little general store – I have some food left over from the beginning of the hike but definitely need to supplement – and then I organize my belongings so I can check out of the room. As soon as I’ve settled all that I head to the gear shop. I’ve got a date with Hot Legs to buy new shoes.
Everyone at the store knows me now and they all greet me enthusiastically. I’ve told Alley all about Hot Legs, of course, and she teases me, calling him my new boyfriend. I tell Hot Legs this and he laughs. “I’ve got you a huge fan base,” I say, “but they’re mostly queer women. Plus my mom. Sorry!” He laughs some more. Bless this man, truly.
We resupply my med kit with all the blister stuff we used up yesterday. We try on new socks and shoes. I settle on injinji midweight merino wool socks and Altra Lone Peaks shoes in a size 8.5. Please let this work. Hot Legs tapes up my blisters again. We go over my potential routes for the next few days. We go over how to pack my pack most efficiently. I buy the things we’ve picked out. It’s time to say bye.
I don’t really want to, is the thing. Once I leave the gear shop I’ll be really solo again – no trail friends, no pretend trail boyfriend, no one I know – just me, trying to get to Laguna Campground tonight. I know I’m hiking alone, but I’ve enjoyed this camaraderie so much. I’m sad to say goodbye.
Hot Legs gives me a huge hug and tells me I’m amazing. “I can’t wait to see photos of you at the northern monument,” he says, and I try not to cry. Story of my life, honestly.
I pop by the post office to mail a few things home, call Susie about my Idyllwild resupply and call mom and Alley, and then I’m off. Gonna make some miles in some new shoes! Yeah!
I don’t want to jinx it, but the shoes feel…okay. Let’s not talk about it until I’ve hiked more than 6 miles, right?
The hiking is beautiful, maybe my favorite stretch of trail so far. Super green and lush, pinecones the size of my head, lots of pink flowers, and eventually mountains in the distance, so breathtaking I stop and say “what the fuck.” It’s like the trail knows I need a morale boost after yesterday. I do like hiking alone – I’m not sad to be solo on the trail, just a little apprehensive for this evening. But the one foot in front of the other stuff is very pleasant by myself. I stop and take photos; I finish my second roll of film. The earth smells so good. My feet do hurt but not too badly. Everything is okay.
I leap frog a few times with two other hikers who are together and eventually we’re all walking towards the campground. I did it! The miles I intended to do today I did!
We find some other PCT hikers who have already paid for an 8 person site so we ask if we can pitch our tents there. The hiker who paid, Pat, refuses to take any money. He’s sweet but none of us chat very much – he tells me he’ll be getting up very early and he hopes he won’t bother me. Nope. I hope I’ll get up early too. I’m a little anxious about tomorrow – how far I’ll hike, where I’ll camp, if I’ll ever have friends again. I guess we’ll just see.
I make dinner and it takes longer than I anticipate to soak into a hydrated state – Knorrs rice side, beef flavor, I think. So now it’s 9pm and I’ve got a full pot of somewhat soupy rice and I have to eat it…there’s nothing I’d like to do less. But all I ate today was Nutella (thanks hiker free boxes), a Clif Bar, a Pro Bar, and some jerky, and I know if I want my feet to recover and my body to stay strong I need more calories. I’ll try to choke this dinner down and then, bed.
It’s past hiker midnight, after all.
PS: Two things I forgot to tell you guys: I’ve officially dug a cat hole now (good job, Body!) and my tent fell over ON ME in a wind storm on night #4. Okay that’s really all for now! XO.