*as you will read, if you make it that far, I had some charging issues at my town stop, so I’m going to skimp on pictures until Wednesday and add them to the posts later. If you’re on social media, you’re not missing much. For now you’re stuck with my writing.
Had quite a thunderstorm last night. Around 2 AM, when I woke up and thought it might be like five, I heard distant thunder. Didn’t take long for a full-blown thunderstorm to materialize complete with an impressive lightning show and long rolling thunder. French benefit to the storm is that I have evidence that my tent is pretty great in the rain. When I heard it start to sprinkle, I quickly closed one of the doors on each side of me to keep a Crossbreeze and that worked really well. I woke up to virtually no condensation and all dry on the inside. Had breakfast with front pocket and other dude, reveling in my bag breakfast. I think I’m going to send my coffee gear home today because my brain wants it but my body is like you want to put WHAT in here? I’m also sending my Fuji x100t home because I’ve taken approximately 7 pictures with it the entire week and it’s another 15oz of weight. I hate to admit it but the pictures on my phone are just as satisfying and it’s a lot easier to access quickly.
Walked through a thunderstorm and light rain over to high rock lookout. Strange place but a nice view of the valley. Then I made a tedious and slippery descent down from high rock. So many wet boulders. At one point I heard a clatter and thought it was a dead limb but it turned out to be frontpocket taking a spill. Bet that hurt. I caught up to him a little bit later and we walked together (by which I mean within 50-100 yards sometimes in sight and sometimes not), occasionally stopping to talk about birds. I left him st a water break to make it into cascade before the PO closed at noon. It was a hot and painful walk into town. I half heartedly threw a thumb out when I stopped to eat a snack but I didn’t really want a hitch and I didn’t feel like standing in the sun to wait for one.
Got my mail drop and packaged up the extra stuff to send home. A woman offered me a ride back to the trail but I sadly had other things to do first. I walked down the road to get the vital necessities of chips and Fritos. I bought a surprise bag for frontpocket because he’s been coveting mine. Then it was a hot walk over to rockys pizza where I ate half of a steak and cheese the size of a newborn and a side “salad.”
I felt exhausted and uncertain about the point of showering, but forced myself to go to the community center across the street and do it anyway. That’s where I noticed that my left ear is red and swollen. It’s been uncomfortable since before I left for the hike (eczema) and the sun is making it triply worse. I covered it back up with black kt tape and will keep an eye on it. After my semi satisfying shower, I headed back over to rockys parking lot to attempt a hitch. I couldn’t fathom walking in the sun back to penmar. 3 or 4 cars went by, and I was close to giving up when the guy from Rocky’s came out on his way to a delivery. He didn’t blink when I asked him for a ride because hikers ask him all the time.
I spent the next 3 hours being bored and antsy and uncomfortable waiting for my tech to charge at what must be the slowest secret outlet known to man. It’s on the side of the first aid hut in the park. I thought I had like 3 miles to go after penmark, but it was actually 5. That was a disappointing moment. The good news is I didn’t have to cook dinner because I have the other half of my colossal sandwich. Got a bit of planning done (calculating mileage on my handy calculator watch to keep from draining my phone battery. I kept trying to nap because I’ve been sleeping so poorly and look busted, but I couldn’t really relax because my brain kept going into obsessive planning mode.
Finally gave up on having a fully charged battery pack and left penmar around 430. I then blew through the next 5 miles at possibly the fastest pace yet. Anxiety! I was soaked within minutes of the major climb up from falls creek. Good thing I took a shower. I tried to stop every so often and actually look around me, but honestly I just wanted to be done for the day. I crammed too many things into today and I’m feeling it in all the ways.
I finally reached my destination for the night around 7p. On a weekend. So of course it was a full site. No sign of frontpocket. Pretty disappointed that I don’t get to deliver my Fritos surprise or hang out in his quiet amiable vibe. They made room for me in one of the shelters, which seemed like a good idea, but now (as I finish this entry from bed) all I can think about is spiders. After my sleeping arrangements were determined, i scarfed the other half of my sandwich, some Fritos, and a Girl Scout cookie (yay maildrop, and it was a samoa for those who care). A man named Lewis helped me hang my first bear bag. Well, first he helped me untangle the clusterfuck of a bear line that I pulled out of my food bag, which was of course buried at the bottom of a bursting food bag. I let him help me (progress!) and went to filter water before I cried from exhaustion. Tried to watch the sunset through the trees and tune out the nonsense coming from the gaggle of 15 year olds sitting down stream.
My posts will likely be shorter for the next few days because I couldn’t wait for everything to charge all the way.
Mile 1059.7 to mile 1069.3
1.5 miles road walking (so hard on my feet)
Creature feature: birds! A cute little dark blue guy with gray chest and a white spot on the wing. Woodpeckers.