Day 17 The Crack of Noon

Miles: 20
Total: 286
Water: 2L from tap in town; 1L from small creek

Town time tends to be a lot more busy than interesting. With a commitment to blogging, and my real life only semi-contained, I rush to sift through emails and respond where needed; to get images uploaded and blog posts ready to go all while trying to keep all my devices fully charged (phone, camera, keyboard and external battery).

I woke up a 6am to have time to finish blogging before heading back to the trail after breakfast. But no one is exactly in a rush to relinquish the cotton PJs. And there’s breakfast to make and eat, eggs, potatoes, sausage. Amy even gives Papa Smurf a haircut on an swivel chair in the living room. 

We are itching to go, but the ever-generous Papa Smurf alone is shuttling 15 hikers to various trailheads, post offices and stores this morning. Finally Shenanigans and I are back where we left off, almost exactly 24 hours later, to start hiking at the ‘crack of noon’. Actually, a quarter past the crack of noon. 

This section of the trail seems eerily quiet. Some people left much earlier, others are are in town, or skipped up to a later road access. Shenanigans has gone ahead. My legs don’t seem to want to work, right side all stiff and strange, though not the bad kind of painful. I stretch and keep going and eventually get back up to speed, catching Shenanigans. Then we catch Lemonade, and the three of us power through, Big Bear Lake visible from the ridge. 

  We get to camp before dark, making 20 miles despite the late start. We are passing through a burn area, with few tress left standing. A cold wind cuts through all our layers as we cook and impatiently eat half-done dinners in the last of the light. It is shaping up to be a very cold night. But there is water here and a pit toilet, with paper and hand sanitizer. Luxuries all.  

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