Miles 4.3

PCT Mile 81.6

We gathered our belongings and were ready when Professor showed up in his Subaru to collect us and take us back to Julian. So soft-spoken, I nearly had my head in the front seat with Anji just to try to hear him. Finally I gave up and let her be the conversationalist. She’s really good at that.

Mom’s Pies gives out a slice of pie and a drink to PCT hikers, but apparently only thru hikers. They didn’t like that we were working on local permits, but we bought coffee anyway.

We drank our coffee on a sidewalk under a No Loitering sign with a few other hikers and generally did nothing until the gear shop opened across the street. Anji went to find a couple of things and while she was gone, I saw the UPS truck! Dr. Dolittle, another hiker, asked him if we could just collect the package straight from the truck. He agreed, and we didn’t have to pay the post office $10 to get our package. I carried it back, all proud of myself.

We did a gear explosion on a picnic bench of the deli, food and supplies spread out everywhere. It was a miracle that we were able to sort it all out, but sort it we did. And then we had leftover food to donate to the hiker box for future hikers, and stuff to mail home.

I finally found the hiker box at the Julian Beer Company. We opened the box to find a note stating it was also for people in need in the community. That’s nice, we thought. We started putting some things into the box. Lidocaine, nuts, then some guy wandered up and started verbally accosting us. Accusing us of not being able to read. Accusing us, in essence, of being tramps who were stealing food from his community. Anji blew him off. I tried to explain we were donating food. He wasn’t having it and kept at me. I switched into fuck-this-guy, let’s mail it all home.

Anji advised me to stop engaging. I did.

I cried instead.

He finally went away.

Why are people such assholes? I asked her.

You have to remember you’re on steroids and things are going to feel really hard right now, she said. Take it easy.

We mailed a box back home and got an easy hitch with Bad Santa, a trail angel, from the post office back to the trailhead.

We hiked up up up into the hills and around the way, the trail surprising us with every turn. Barrel cactus and ocotillo everywhere, ready to explode into bloom.

I was overwhelmed, and we’d packed out far too much water, so after a few miles, we decided to camp in a nice wash that Anji found, and had dinner and a nice cup of tea.

I soaked my toes in some warm water and betodine bath, and Anji doctored my them again by headlamp.

Then I cried my steroid-self to sleep for no particular reason.


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