We had a short day planned so I didn’t get out of bed until 6. Then we all took our time having breakfast and packing up. Din, Frish, Flying Dutchmen, Sophie and I all hiked out together. We stuck together for a little bit but our hiking paces are slightly different. We wouldn’t see Frish again until our camping spot. Overall, the hiking was pretty good. Our first water source was stronger flowing and better tasting than expected. It was as windy as expected. And the trail was smoother and flatter than expected. The talk of the day was our plan for tomorrow. We had 7 miles to get to Paradise Valley Cafe for breakfast. But then things were turning for the worse. This trail family we had kept since Julian was splitting up. Din and Flying Dutchman needed to hitch into Idyllwild to take a zero or two earlier than expected. Frish, Sophie and I would continue up the trail to mile 179 before hitching into the same town. We all hope to meet back up again but are unsure of our future. The trail can be a cruel mistress. On one hand, we got to our camping spot tonight at Mary’s and she happened to be there and was cooking dinner for hikers. She isn’t usually there but has a water tank, picnic tables and a few books for hikers to enjoy while they rest. We were lucky to have the rare chance to meet her and enjoy her delicious food. Fresh fruit, Mexican rice and beans, and apple pie were all on the menu. We were in heaven. Delayed was also there and got a lot of great pictures. Turns out I have a lot more dirt on my face than I thought. I’m going to miss this family.
It’s truly amazing how quickly you can become close to people on trail. Even though I had only met these people in the last week, we had spent almost every waking moment together. We had all of our meals together and struggled through the hard days together. The trail can make people friends instantly and I hope to meet many more.
Miles: 13.9 Total Miles: 145.4