Miles 5.5

Bonus miles to the cafe 1

PCT Mile 151.8

It’s going to be sunny and beautiful today, Anji said. I can’t wait!

I looked out of my tent at the rain cloud enveloping us. Oh, I said. It’s gonna rain in 3….2….1….


Our fingers turned red with the cold as we stuffed our wet tents one more time into their bags. I pressed my fingers to my face to warm them for a moment.

Tomorrow we’ll have coffee in a warm room, I said.

Oh, she said.

We laughed. Genuine and hard. And kept blowing at our red fingers.

But it finally worked itself into a fairly lovely day. Mountains upon mountains. Layers of Mountain Cakes. All mixed up with red cliffs eroding into nothing.

Rock! Anji yelled and kicked a rock off into nothing. It was fun so she did it again. Then we kept on walking. The goal was to make it to Paradise Valley Cafe by 11am so we could order a burger.

We rounded the corner and over the top of the hill and then there was a road and we were standing under the power lines and it was over.

We just kind of smiled at each other and fist-bumped and said We-Dididit.

Then we walked down to the cafe. We got there at 10:40, they took our order by 11:15, and we finally got out of there pleased enough by 12:15 to the chiming of a resident trail angel telling us we’d never be able to hitch a ride…

It’s 12:28, Anji said as we put out our thumbs. Let’s just see how long this takes us.

By 12:30, we had a ride with Amy, a local real estate professional (now our trail angel) who was stoked to hear our stories. She took us all the way down to a Wal-Mart about 40 minute drive away.

She was amazing and beautiful and a great conversationalist. She took us to a lookout point so we could see over Palm Springs on the way. We loved her instantly.

What a kind and generous soul!

We shopped for bathing suits and new outfits so we didn’t freak people out with our earthy smells, and by the time we finally got out of walmart, we’d each spent $100. Then we headed to the Aqua Soleil Mineral Spa via Lyft.

The lady at the front said our room wasn’t ready, but she gave us shampoo and conditioner and toothpaste and a toothbrush and sent us to the locker rooms to clean up so we could hang out at the pool.

We jumped on that.

We spent the evening eating all the things, sitting in the Hot Tub, drying our gear on the balcony, and dreaming of seeing our husbands tomorrow.

What would we change? Well for starters, I’d get something with easier access to pockets next time. I want to keep my phone maybe on a lanyard or an easy pocket so I can take more photos. We also wouldn’t take as much food or water on each leg. Other than that, we made a great team and we look forward to a lot more hiking together in our future. Oh yeah, and I’ll try to wear shoes that fit and stay away from Poison Oak.

Would I do it all over again.

Heh heh heh. You all know I would in a heartbeat…


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