Today I did a solo 15 mile day. Woke at 430 and headed out in the clouds. I think 430 has become a pretty good wake up time. Still dark when you're packing up but light enough to start hiking without a lamp. It was a very overcast and windy day. Cold enough to wear my puffy and gloves for most of the day. The clouds were so good this morning and the light was really nice. I loved it. The rolling hills today were so peaceful. I took my first break at mile nine. I ended up dumping out 1L. My feet were feeling the weight for awhile. I think if it wasn't cloudy, I would've needed all that water; it's so different when there's no sun.
I reached the end of the trail where it hits the road. There were notes all on the PCT markers to come to Casa De Luna aka the Andersons. As I walked down the road I wondered if I was supposed to hitch or road walk 2 miles to their house. Road walking is not fun so I tried to hitch. Within a minutes, a fancy pick up truck pulls over and it's a nice Hispanic couple named Peter and Brenda. They were so sweet and took me all the way to the house. It was actually pretty far so I was super thankful they had given me a ride! My first solo hitch was a success. I had a lot of fears about hitching by myself but this is a nice town I guess.
I get out of the truck and see a bunch of hikers sitting outside on some couches all in Hawaiian shirts. I've heard about these shirts so much and couldn't wait to change into one. I was greeted by Terrie Anderson with a hug and she showed me the shirt selection and where to set my things. I picked out a blue shirt with oranges all over it. I walked through the gates to the backyard and saw painted rocks set in the tree branches that led you to this area where the leaves have been raked and tree branches have be strategically placed to make little tent sites. It was so cute. I tried pitching in one of the little spots nestled under the branches but there wasn't enough space so I pitched next to Mike and Jackie's tent.
The rest of the day pretty much was just relaxing in my Hawaiian shirt, eating my trail food for lunch and I even painted a rock at the arts and crafts table. Yes, there was a craft table. Lisa, Rusty and GB got dropped off about two hours later and I showed them around. As we were all sitting there on these couches with dirty sleeping bags everywhere in our Hawaiian shirts, we all thought "This has got to be the weirdest trail angel experience so far, we're so glad to be here."
It's been pretty chilly all day with no sun, it's weird trying to sit out in the cold these days. I was wearing all my layers and Hawaiian shirt trying to warm up with dirty sleeping bags. We basically sat around and they were serving us taco salad for dinner. They brought out huge cans of refried beans, nacho cheese, tomatoes, olives, etc. Man, we were gonna be getting the poops tonight. Before we all could eat, Terrie made a very serious speech on how to get dinner. We all needed to wash our hands in the back with soap, couldn't hold our plates over the pots and had to go in a specific order or we would get spanked. I was face timing with Jenny during the speech so I didn't hear most of the rules and totally got unexpectedly spanked while getting food. How embarrassing haha. But Jenny got to see some hikers she knew here and showed her around Casa De Luna. She probably was thinking wtf is going on. I promise, we usually hike 90% of the time and camp. I'm glad these places have rules though or else their homes would just be like a zoo. There's too many people to contain. These trail angels happen pretty much only five times during our entire thru-hike. There is basically no angels after this until skykomish. But for some reason this last stretch has like three all back to back. I feel like we've been lounging too much. Too much socializing and sitting around makes me really antsy.
This next section is weird bc yes, we have another fire detour but it's a long road. We're talking about just hitching around it. Then we have a Hikertown stop which I'm a little afraid of bc I've heard it's like a rave. But sometimes you can't avoid these places bc it's the only place you can camp/stop/do errands at out in the middle of nowhere. So we are grateful for these angels even though they're a little strange. Then there's this 20 mile stretch of flat, hot, dry corner of the Mohave Desert along the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Apparently we have to night hike it bc it's super hot and long. And you need to walk the whole stretch bc you can't camp there since cars may drive through it at night. It should be interesting. We're trying to get a group to do it together so it's not as boring.
I'm so ready to be back on trail though. Too many party people all together is a lot for me. I am starting to realize how overwhelming big groups are. Being social is quite draining, most of the time I just want to crawl into my sleeping bag by myself and not have to be around so many hikers.