Destination: Casa de Luna (the Anderson's)
No rush today. We were pulling into another trail angel's residence. This time, Casa de Luna in Green Valley. Places like this are rare on the trail, and it's unfortunate that there is only 24 miles between the Saufley's Hiker Heaven and the Anderson's Casa de Luna, but that is the way it is, and we are very grateful. Besides, we are at nearly 500 miles, and what better way to reward ourselves than a series of relaxing days.
The Anderson's and the Saufley's are the king and queens of trail angeling in southern california, if not the whole trail. While the Saufleys have to institute a two night maximum, the Andersons try to maintain a two night minimum. I don't anticipate two nights here, but it is sort of a vortex, so we will see.
Upon arriving at a road next to a ranger station, we phoned the host, who promptly drove up to the trail and picked us up. Last night we slept at the water cache they maintain, and now after a short three hour walk, we are lounging in a hammock. Everyone is milling about in the Hawaiian shirts, provided to add to the atmosphere. Jethro Tull is playing on the radio, and a ragtag collective of hiker trash is gathered around the coolers diminishing what seems to be a never ending collection of beer and soda.
We arrived, catching the tail end of a community breakfast of pancakes drizzled in sticky syrup, while those who stayed over night, slowly emerged from the endlessly deep magical manzanita grove that serves as their backyard. The manzanita's are rumored to offer unfathomably great sleep to all those who enter.
Tacked to the garage door of their modest yellow house is a large white banner, which reads Casa de Luna Class of 2010. Scribed across the white sheet are signatures of all the hikers who have passed through the establishment, a living growing record of those who have made the 480 mile trek to this haven.
Tonight, around seven, the hostess will mix up several large bowls of taco salad, to feed a hungry collective of nomadic hikers. Before enjoying dinner, hikers can nap in freckled sunlight under the oak trees, pull together a few players for a game of frisbee golf, or take care of the mundane tasks of laundry, internetting, showering, or journaling.
If interested, hikers can catch a ride to eight miles down the trail, and slack pack back to the Casa de Luna, for a second, third, or even fourth night of relaxation. Given the snow in the Sierras this year, not many are in a rush to get up to Kennedy Meadows, but then again, too much resting does make us soft. We need to keep moving.
We'll see what the day brings.
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