Slept so well in my bed in the nice room with the ac blasting all night. Woke at a decent time and got some things done. Undercover texted me that they were getting breakfast. I really wanted to go but I had to check out in two hours and still needed to get stuff done in the room. I did a small load of laundry in the tub and set the things outside to dry in the sun. All the dirt left a black ring around the tub so I wiped it down with a towel. I also facetimed Nate and Meg while I was packing up. They seem to be doing really well and so weird to see them in normal clothes. I was sad to leave my room. It was so nice, new, clean and big. It would've been nice to stay another day but it wasn't necessary.
I checked out and walked over to the PO to get the package Jenny sent me. It was my memory card from the desert times and she sent me a sweet note and a paw print from Clyde. The man at the PO was SO friendly. I've never seen someone so happy that was working there. Then I walked over to the health foods store to check it out. The lady working was also so nice to me and gave me a sample slice of soap to take with me. I bought a bottle of kombucha and gin gins. I headed next door to the sporting goods store to see their stake options. I didn't like them. I walked to McDonald's and decided I would loiter there to catch up on blogs. I love how everything in this town is on one strip. It makes my life so much easier.
I saw two hikers that I met before and chatted a little bit. I literally sat at the McDs for four hours using their ac, power and wifi. I'm starting to like McDs for those reasons. I ended up buying a breakfast sandwich and fries since they were out of hash browns. She offered to sell me two sandwiches for $4 but I passed. This is why Americans are obese. Selling double of things for so cheap and "super sizing" things! Blogging took foreverrrrr. Mainly bc the photos were not loading correctly for some reason. The squarespace app really sucks. Undercover came over to visit for a little told me to meet them at their room when I finished.
David also walked in. He was the older hiker I met the other day out of Chester. I sat and chatted with him for a bit. He had hitched passed the rim and got off at burney and is taking the bus to Redding to get home. I finally got a good number of queues for the blog and headed out. It felt good to get that done with. Met the married folks over at their room and we walked down to the pizza place for food. If you make it to their lunch, they have a buffet but we were too late. I ordered a medium meat lovers. I thought I could eat half and pack the rest out but the pizza was too huge. I ended up giving the others a few slices. My sciatica was hurting on our way back so I stretched a bit in their room. Then it was finally time for me to head out around six. It was still SO hot but I needed to go.
I walked out to the side of the road and hitched for about 15 minutes before someone pulled over. At first glance, it looked fine. There were two guys in the car and a kid in the back in a child's seat, maybe about six or seven years old. I thought oh there's a kid, they must be ok. So I got in and little did I know, this would become the sketchiest hitch I've done. There was a cooler in the backseat so he passed it to his friend in the passenger seat. I noticed the kid had a terrified look on his face. I tried talking to him but he did not answer. We started driving and he said that he needed to make a small pit stop at his friend's house to pick up some money. I immediately thought, "Fuck, what am I getting myself into?" I tried asking them questions to see if there was anything fishy but he seemed to know about the pct and apparently he's picked up hikers. They are from Oregon and I guess they have family in the area and the kid was his grandson. The seemed only about 40-50 years old. They were headed to the river or something. It was hard to hear with all the windows rolled down. He missed the turn to the house so we make a u turn and got to the street. He pulled up to this somewhat "dumpy" house and said "I'll be right back." The house was blaring loud music and he bangs on the front door. He finally goes in and later comes out with the man. The man is a huge overweight guy with tattoos wearing a wifebeater. I overhear them talking about money, a casino and winning a fight. The whole time I was praying and hoping we could leave soon. The man never once looked at me nor said hello. The driver finally gets back into the car and we were off. I kept staring at their hands to see if they were up to anything. He starts asking me questions like "So, what makes you want to do this hike by yourself? Are you ever afraid out there all alone as a solo woman? What's been your scariest experience so far?" It made me really nervous but I answered in confidence that it's been not scary except for the bugs. I kept praying that they would not kill me tonight. After a long 7 miles that seemed like eternity, with the sketchy pit stop, I told him he could just drop me off at the pull out and I can just walk a few feet back to the trail. I was so glad he actually stopped the car to let me out. He awkwardly asked for a hug and I gave him a little pat. I said thanks and walked fast down the road and crossed to the other side. Praise the Lord. I seriously didn't think I would make it today. I'm so sick of hitching by myself. Sometimes it's fine but it's so hard to make a quick judgement. You never know what they're like until you get in the car. I need to remember to never try to be nice when you feel uncomfortable. But I didn't feel that way until I got in and he needed to make a detour.
I saw blink walking down the highway trying to hitch into town for cigarettes. I told him to stay strong and good luck. Then I was on my way down the trail. Ran into a few hikers. It was really hot still so I was sweating tons. If it's so hot right now, it must be so much worse during the day. I decided to make it 7.1 miles to the burney falls pct camp. There was a huge Hispanic family all camping. They are loud but it doesn't bother me. They seem to be having a good family camping trip and it's someone's birthday. I set up in the dark and looked at my water source for this section. Not terrible but I'm going to start carrying an extra liter more than normal bc the heat makes me incredibly thirsty. I would like to wake up early tomorrow since it's going to be in the 100s but who knows when this family will go to bed. I really wished I had ear plugs now.