Last night, we had heard that Carmen had a pretty rough day yesterday at the restaurant. On top of being slammed at work, there were some hikers who were bathing in the bathroom and leaving a huge mess. All of us went to bed feeling so terrible about it because we were part of the hikers for that day but didn't know who was leaving the mess. We decided we wanted to get her some flowers, a card and give her an extra donation. I feel like as a thru-hiker, we need to be extra respectful to all of our trail angels and the businesses that serve us. They go out of their way to take care of us just because they want to, and I think we should just try our best to show our appreciation for them.
All the hikers that we shared a room with were so respectful. Everybody pitched in to make the beds, take out the trash and wipe down the bathrooms before we left the room. They are such great examples! I loved getting to know those guys. We each headed out in groups of two to hitch back into Julian. I took out my sign Jackie made me and a pick up truck pulled over to give us a ride. The man driving the truck was named Roger. He lived down the street and was on his way into Julian to have breakfast with his daughter. It turns out he's also really good friends with Carmen and told us that she was maid of honor at their wedding many years ago.
Roger dropped us off in town, and I went to Lani's Flower Shop to find Carmen a bouquet. We all signed a card and headed over to her place. She was brought to tears when we told her that we all loved her. I'm so glad she felt better the next day. She then immediately started making us all breakfast burritos. Carmen is AMAZING. She's like the trail mom of Julian. I ended up sitting by the outlet so that I could finally get some blogs posted. And MAN, I think it took a good 2-3 hours just to transfer text, add images, proofread and schedule all the blog posts. With that being said, I am sure there are a bunch of typos or autocorrects in the previous posts. So sorry! But I don't have much time to proofread and I usually type everything at the end of a long day as a zombie.
We finished our nero (a day where you only hike a little and rest for most it) and decided to head out around 3pm. We walked to the end of the road to hwy 78 to hitch. Every car seemed to be passing us, then a blue pick up stopped for us. It was a hiker named Brett and who just had lunch with his dad and was heading back to the trailhead. He dropped us off on the PCT, and we were off!
I ended up hiking back up myself and then ran into the Texans. It turns out they go to The Village Church. I had a feeling they were Christians the whole time. I feel like God brings his people together and what are the odds that we all started on the same day and that we were able to connect! I ended up hiking with them. It was getting late so we needed to find a site soon. We passed up a few spots and ended up at around mile 82, but it was super exposed on the side of a ridge. As we were setting up, we could see the dark clouds rolling in fast and the winds were picking up. I was trying to pitch my tent but all the stakes kept pulling out. The wind was SO strong. I'm not even exaggerating. I could not get my tent set up and was so sad. I didn't know what to do. Meg said that I could try to squish into their 2p with them. I gladly accepted because there was no way my tent would hold up in the wind.
We somehow got all of our pads laid down and us to all fit in there. I mean, we were pretty squished but we made it work. The whole time I was thinking how thankful I was that I had shelter with them! I would've been so terrified if I was by myself and my tent had collapsed on me. I would've just laid there until it let up or something. We finally got everything inside the tent and just didn't move. It was too hard to change into my sleeping clothes or eat dinner. But I technically ate a bag of Cheetos for dinner few hours prior to bedtime. We had full service since we were only 5 miles out from the road so we FaceTimed Jenny. It was kind of fun and then we tried to go to bed.
The wind was flapping the rain fly around and pulling on all the walls. I was able to fall asleep a bit but we all got woken up by the 70mph winds a little after midnight. The tent walls were pushing my body into Meg and their heads were getting hit by the walls. It was SO INSANE. I have never been in such wind!! It felt like a scene off from Meru. The huge wind gusts went on all night into morning.