Zero Trail Miles
(The image of the yellow truck is the fun beast that drove us to town, and back to the trail.)
There is not much to say about zero days. We spend our time in town resting, resupplying, eating, and socializing.
We needed to go to the post office to resupply, so after grabbing a morning coffee, we hit the road with our thumbs. Several minutes later, Osmond picked us up. We had a great talk while we drove to the post office. He said that he would take us back after we were done at the post office. It's rare to find a hitch, where the driver goes out of their way to drive you both directions, and an even rarer find to catch a hitch with such an interesting person. While at the post office, Osmond even offered to take another hiker to a town that was at least an hours drive away.
After he took us to the post office, he drove us to the grocery store where we parted ways. We grabbed some groceries for hiking, and for eating at the hostel.
Later that evening, our crew of seven put together a tasty pasta dinner, and enjoyed some wine. Meanwhile, Apricots busied herself with making her famous cinnamon roles for all the hikers at the hostel. Late in the evening, when the aroma of warm rolls was wafting through the hostel, Apricots said to five unsuspecting hikers, come and get it. Immediately all five stood up.
Michael, a german hiker, said, "vat iz this? It looks many calories," before chowing down on a freshly baked roll.
After dinner, several hikers sat around a campfire, enjoying beer and wine while talking everything trail, and non-trail related.
Also, I would like to point out one other humorous thing.
As people who live in tents without bathrooms, our sleeping is sometimes interrupted by a cold brisk walk at night three feet away from our tents. When you take a thru-hiker who is accustomed to this, and you feed them large quantities of alcohol while staying at a hostel, they are bound to wake in the night to drain excess fluids.
What one does not expect to happen is this:
A thru-hiker who shall go unnamed drank copious amounts of alcohol, only to crash before midnight. (Us hikers have trouble staying up past ten). One can only assume that he felt he was out on the trail, because around 2am, he woke and walked three feet from his bed to relieve himself. Unfortunately, he found another hikers bunk, rather than a toilet.
I am impressed that the sleeping hiker is still talking with the peeing hiker.
Day 25-May 8th
13 Trail Miles
This morning we woke at the hostel, with intentions of returning to trail. The Mayor (who received his trail name from doing charitable acts for other hikers, as if he were running for Best Hiker of the year award) made a tasty breakfast to enjoy with the few remaining cinnamon rolls.
At ten, the seven of us piled into the yellow beast, and drove back to the trail, with rested bodies, full bellies, and heavy packs. Back at the trail, we thanked our trail angel for helping us out, and we began our casual saunter down the trail.
Our day was planned short, because we are setting ourselves up to arrive at some hot springs midday monday, so we can play in the cool river and warm springs during the heat of the day. With the short day, we did not feel a need to rush our miles. We made a slow easy climb from the highway through pinyons until we crested the hill. From there our hike took us across very simple grade, until we dropped down to Van Duysen Road, where a small stream ran down the hill.
We took lunch there, and rested, knowing that we were only planning on doing five or six more miles on the day. After a decent lunch hour (naptime pictures above), we donned our packs and made a small climb out of Van Duysen canyon. On the way out, we ran into Unbreakable, No Trace, and Billy Goat, three hikers we met in the first week. They bounced north to hike southbound to allow more time for snow to melt in the San Jacintos.
We shared quick stories, and then were on our way. Our hike ran a hillside paralleling Big Bear Lake, before dropping away into leafless Oak trees. The setting sun showered golden light through the trees casting freckled shadows upon our path.
Around six we set up camp, where we shared our meals over a communal dinner next to the campfire. Later in the evening, we all stood close by, to warm ourselves by the heat of the fire.
I love these low mileage days.
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