Total: Near 493
Water: Vitamin water (power C for the win); 2L+ tap water from the Anderson’s
Morning light is not favorable to our sulphur-stinky spring water. Now we can see all the organic floaties; it’s best not to look too closely before filtering. I make dinner for breakfast to balance out my food bag. Koyo Organic ramen with cabbage, peas and soy.
The last few days I have felt like I am constantly trying to keep up, catch up, get to the next stop. Last night felt like a race. And not one I was winning. It is time to go at my own pace for a while, and this morning that is slow. Luckily the morning sun has lost its edge, the hottest days have passed for the moment meaning I don’t have to carry as much water.
I get to the road just the same, and hitch with a hiker dude the few miles to Casa de Luna aka the Anderson’s aka Hippie Daycare. Hawaiian shirts are mandatory upon arrival. It’s a party scene, some hiker-guests appear to have been here for weeks. It’s more of a napping scene out back among the Manzanita’s where we repair gear, dry dew-soaked sleeping bags and reexamine pack weight. I finally weigh my pack: a respectable 25 pounds including three days food and 2.5 liters of water.
On the way out we get PCT Class of 2015 bandanas, a gift from a class of 2001. We sign the class sheet, and pose in front for a photo. Host Terri Anderson drops her pants and gives us the namesake moon. “It gets the best smiles” she explains with a cheeky grin.
Many hours later, Bad Camper asks if I am blogging tonight. He is asking because it is 12:20 am and we just road walked something like 11 miles on account of another fire closure (these are past fires, but the trail stays closed for various reasons), mostly after dinner. Which I cooked behind a big tree at the back of a roadside restaurant. Others ordered sandwhiches, and landed free fries which get devoured in a ketchup-filled feeding frenzy.
The road is easy, but brutal on the bottoms of your feet. Rush hour traffic gradually subsides until we walk in twos and three right on the blacktop. I walk with Shenanigans and Double Step, singing camp and Disney songs to pass the time. For some reason the guys trail behind just out of earshot.
We keep walking well past dark. There are something like ten of us now casting moon shadows on the road without end. The road traces the San Andreas Fault, but there is a bar along the way too. Greg stops in for a pint while the rest of us put out feet up outside. Patrons tell us there’s a yard where we can camp, just down the street. It is incredibly tempting, our secret hope come true. But no one wants to wake to a road walk so we press on with aching feet.
Finally the turn off for the trail back to The Trail. We collide with the grass near the world’s creepiest pit toilet: door laying broken on the ground outside, crumbling cinder block cubicle full of leaves, bullet holes through the seat. Sweet dreams of Blair Witch horror, I think. Before passing into a dead sleep.