This morning, I had NO problem waking up. It was town day! Woke a little earlier than normal and headed off. Weird how five miles can feel like forever though. Most of the hike out, my sciatica has been really bad. I'm thinking of going to a sports therapist to see if they can dig out the muscle on my right butt that's knotted. It's just really painful to do flats when I need to be flying through them.
We crossed a busy highway for awhile and it was so loud. We had this hill to climb right before getting to echo lake. Finally arrived and thought this day would never come! Since it was still early, the married folk and I just called an uber which worked out great. Our driver was cool to chat with and he ended up telling is he grew weed at his house for a living haha. He dropped us off for breakfast at berts cafe and heard it was the goods. Since it was a Sunday morning, it was packed. That's a good sign. While we waited to be seated, we talked to a few super friendly locals. When we walked inside, everyone just stares. I mean, do we really stick out? I seriously don't think I look that dirty. I ordered eggs, corned beef hash, hash browns and a side of avocado and French toast. That seems to be my staple these days. It's delicious! Very homemade tasting. We were happy.
After we ate, we walked across the street to apex inn, the motel we're staying at. We checked in but hung out for an hour or so until they were ready. Early check in is great! I got into my room and it was awesome. Very decent and clean for being in a resort town. I can't begin to tell you how nice it is to also have my own room this time around. This hasn't happened yet and it was the perfect timing after this 12 day stretch. I took a shower but the hotel soap/shampoos are always bad so I didn't feel 100% cleaned off yet. Planning on multiple showers before I leave so it's all good. I then gathered my dirty laundry into my trash bag and walked over to this huge RV campground to find the laundromat. Did some laundry and FaceTimed nancy and the shafers. I got to see fancy and her brand new hair!! I loved it. I barely recognized her in the back seat. I miss those ladies. And then I finallllly got to see Cora and Lucy. It was her 7th bday and that was great to wish her a happy bday. Lucy was hiding but finally showed her face. Ian got a job in Zurich so they are all moving by the end of this month. SOO crazy! I'm so sad I won't be able to see them when I get back but I'm so excited for this new exciting journey for their family! I think the girls are gonna love it. But also another reason to go finally to another country and...SWISS ALPS! They've already lured me w the mountains.
Walked back to my room, dropped off my clean laundry and walked over to raleys for resupply. Holy moly, I forget what it's like to do grocery shopping on a Sunday evening. I was getting flashbacks on how chaotic trader joes is always like on Sunday nights whenever I needed groceries. It was insane. But they had a pretty awesome selection of everything w good prices. Only thing was that their summer sausage selection was bad. They only had a tiny one so I just bought two. I need anything I can get these days regarding food I like to get me through these sections! I also got a couple things to keep in the fridge for those times you get insanely starving when you're not hiking and can't eat your trail food. I got a roast chicken, apples, blueberries and salt and vinegar chips. My sciatica always hurts terribly while getting groceries but finally got done and walked back. I got to skype my sis, Caitlyn and Anton! She just had her 3rd bday a few days ago so it was good to see her. Big girl! I got to talk to them while I packed my food. I also destroyed some of the chicken bc I was starving when I had gotten back.
I got some things done and waited for the married folks to get back from their errands and we all took an uber to the state line for buffet at the Casino, harrahs, for dinner. This part of town was SO boujie!! Tons of tourists everywhere and there was actually some traffic. I'm pretty glad to not be staying in this part of town. Our side is waaaay more chill. It felt so weird to be on trail one moment and then the next, you're walking through a casino to go up 15 stories to eat buffet. There were a ton of people there in line but we finally got seated. We were a little disappointed w the mediocre food but I thought the best things were the most basic: mashed potatoes w gravy and spaghetti. It was pretty awesome. I only had two plates but was SO full. Probably bc I ate a bunch of chicken not long ago. I haven't overstuffed myself on towns yet bc it's not fun but for some reason, I was feeling the pains tonight. It's def bc my stomach has shrunk but I couldn't even eat dessert. I walked over to the hostel to visit mike and Jackie bc I hadn't seen them for awhile and they were heading out tomorrow. It was so awesome to catch up w them and talk about our struggles. They have to get off again for another wedding so they are hustling AGAIN! I seriously wouldn't be able to live with all the pressure on meeting people on a deadline.
It was dark by now and I waited in the cold for the bus. It was great bc it was ride free month. Yay. It dropped me off at the busy intersection and I had to walk back in the dark. I was a little spooked that someone was following me. Walking in the dark by yourself in a busy town is much more dangerous than walking in the dark in the woods. Except I got back and was reading this story how this guy got stalked by a mountain lion at his tentsite. Eff.
I forgot to mention that earlier to today I got a disturbing, well, alarming text from meg saying a lot has happened and they may be getting off trail once they get to Tahoe. I got so worried and she ended up calling me from the top of Sonora pass to give me a lowdown. Her ankle has been hurting still and she doesn't know how much longer to push it before it just gets worse. And they don't know if the trail is right for them in this season of life. As much as it breaks my heart to see friends have to get off, I don't think anyone should be forcing themselves to do this if they're not enjoying it anymore or are walking themselves into injury. Thru hiking is not for everyone. Most people start with this romantic idea of what thru hiking is but it all becomes a mental game after this. This time is also where a lot of people drop off. I must admit, it's certainly getting harder now and the novelty is wearing off but I have no desire to quit, even if I have to finish this thing solo with no friends standing. Yes I'm getting more tired and annoyed of things and yes I know it will now just become monotonous from here on out but I am determined to make it to Canada before the end of September. Even if I physically cannot walk 25+ miles a day right now and my sciatica kills me on the flats/downhills. Or even if I have to finish the trail with snowshoes. Maybe. I'll decide later if that happens. But I'm so proud of the Texans for doing what they have in these last 2.5 months. They've done SO many brave things and I know exactly where they're coming from. Plus I got to meet some amazing new friends that I know I'll be friends with for a lifetime. We got to experience something so many of my friends at home will never be able to understand.
I've also been brainstorming of things I want to write about after the trail. Like myths and misconceptions about the pct and things I was not expecting on trail. A lot of stuff needs to be brought into the light and I want to share it with people even though the truth is not pretty to hear or I will probably be getting hate mail after it. But I want to address it. Happy to be in bed tonight.