Mileage 13 (12 plus 1 mile roadwalk to paradise cafe)
Mile 140 to mile 152
I had my first good night’s sleep on a warm, cracked cistern beneath the dusty stars. At dawn I rose to fill my gatorade bottles with tannin-colored rain water drawn from the cistern with a bucket- bits of debris floated in the water. Molly McButter chose to pre-filter his water through his PCT 2014 hanky. “Why are you filtering?” I said. “Delicious broth of the earth.”
The trail was hot and sandy today and our feet still felt as though they were on fire. Twinkletoes, Molly McButter and I made our way up and then down the mountain, winding on the loop-di-loop trail until I felt as though I would go insane. I listened to music; Taylor Swift and the Against Me! Acoustic EP, which made me nostalgic for my early twenties. Or maybe it’s that so many people out here are in their early twenties. I want to be where they are; I want to be WITH them.
We reached the road and walked it to the paradise cafe, where I picked up my neo air!! (OMG SO EXCITED) and then we stuck out our thumbs to hitch to Idyllwild, choosing to save our appetites for the epic pizza place there. The trail between Paradise Cafe and Idyllwild is closed due to the fire last year; some people have chosen to road-walk to Idyllwild but most have hitched and road-walking fifteen odd miles sounded, this morning, like living hell- so we stuck out or thumbs and caught a ride from a couple of dude-bros with a death wish in the biggest pickup truck I have ever seen. They sped around the narrow curves, throwing us against the doors and into each other, and then dropped us in Idyllwild. So I’ve effectively skipped 25 or so miles of the PCT. But fire closures- what can you do.
In Idyllwild we found NotaChance and Sheriff Woody, a dear, dear young man who I hiked with the first day, and the gaggle of us headed to the pizza shop, where I ate an entire gluten-free pizza. (hiker hunger is here at last, and it feels AWESOME.) We then wrangled a room at the Pines Motel and exploded our packs everywhere, did laundry, all the little things. It’s now past my bedtime and I’m exhausted- my feet are blistering nicely, my butt chafe has mysteriously heeled, one of my ankles is sore. We hike out in the morning, and will attempt to get all the way from here, up over the mountain, and down the other side to the Water Fountain In The Desert before dark. I like this group of folks- they’re funny, and kind, and bright-eyed. I like my life. I like everything.