June 29: On trail, I am generally a nearly riser, up, dressed, camp broken down, and hiking by 5:30-6:00. Not so when I have spent the night in a bed with clean sheets after a shower and a hot meal. Then, I like to spend a few more minutes just basking in the glorious decadence of mattresses and pillows. The one thing that is sure to get me up, though, is a hot breakfast. I ate French toast and sausage in the restaurant with Salt-Lick, Pandora, Prickly Pear and Drip, as we toasted (with toast) the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. (See? Even out in the middle of nowhere, you keep up with r current events the old fashioned way - talking to people!)
I was a bit leary about the hitch back to the trailhead. Even thigh he resort was hike friendly and the staff was super nice, Kennedy Meadows North had a different clientele. The kind of people who were just a little scared of thru hikers. The kind of people who would hurry by and make sure their kids had no contact with the disheveled people. The kind of people who would give you a stern look and then speed away when you were hitching. Even though I am very small and very female and very harmless.
After about an hour by the road with Drip (who was very skinny and very gray haired and very harmless) a truck pulled over. Inside, was Lion King- a section hiker/ trail angel who had been at Big Bear Hostel with us. Back to the trailhead lickety-split!
A large group of hikers were hanging out at the picnic tables at the rest area. They appeared to be making a day of it. And even though the trail had reopened, they were making plans to hitch to Lake Tahoe anyway. So I ended up hitting the trail with Drip.
Ok- I just want to take a moment to ponder something with you: why do I always end up bong with men in their 60s? First Wallaby, then Silver and Velcro, Ed, Grey Beard, Q-Tip, and now Drip. Is it because I'm slow? I have head hobbit legs that will only go so fast and hence a hiking partner my speed is 20 years my senior. But not the females in their 60s. They, for the most part, are speed demons without an ounce of fat on their bodies who speed by me like I'm a rock. I'm dreaming of the day 20 some odd years from now when I realize that all this hiking has made me faster and I'm always hiking with men in their late 30s.
Drip was a great hiking partner and this section of trail proved to be spectacularly beautiful. We really made the right choice, NOT hitching around it. All the wildflowers were in bloom, there were wonderful rock formations, and the sky was striking - threatening rain all day but never quite raining with ominous yet beautiful clouds.
We ended up setting up camp and sharing nice dinner conversation withSalt Lick and Pandora, thunder rumbling in the distance but never reaching us. It was one of those days when you think- this is exactly why I'm doing this!
Peace love and trail Magic!