Miles 10.9

Bonus Miles .2

PCT Mile 102.1

It was a bear of a night. Calm, then blasts of rain, then some more calm, then wind so hard we were quite certain it would pull our rainflies away into the night sky.

Then quiet.

When it was really time to get up, the worst of it had passed and it was a beautiful dawn. Anji took pics, of course. She’s always snapping away at this and that. It is such a wonderful thing. Such a memory creator.

We headed out to see what the morning would bring. And it brought so many surprises! We moved away from the barrel-cactus-land, and into the land of hillsides with brush around waist to shoulder high. We could see the trail way over there, but the route to get there always laughed at us, going into surprise canyons and winding really far north just to go south just to go north again so we could head west. It was shocking and fun and it was all just topped off by weather that never could make up its mind what it wanted out of the day. Hot, windy, freezing cold, misty…we stopped a lot for wardrobe changes.

Anji found a lot of rocks that were shaped like hearts, and she rolled a lot of rocks out of the trail. Trail maintenance hiking crew-style.

We found a nice pace that ate up the miles and didn’t wear us out, and pretty soon we were headed down into Barrel Springs. The once-again-land-of-poison-oak. My only job became touching nothing, while Anji’s job became Monitoring Everything That Could Kill Me. We believe we made it through with success.

Kemi from Montezuma Valley Market came in her tiny little car to pick us up so we could go shopping at her store, and we zipped along, listening to good music. I liked her instantly, her warm vibe, her disaster of a vehicle with firewood in the back, a measuring tape, birthday candles, and empty candy wrappers up front. I guess there’s room in there for 2 packs, she said.

And there was.

We bought some food and coffee and heated it all up and ate it outside in the cold and then Anji wanted to take a shower, so she did that while I generally poked around. It finally dawned on me that I could charge my electronics right about the time Anji was thinking about heading back, so that didn’t work out so well for me. Sigh.

When we got back to the trail, we ran into Anna White’s husband. Anna White who gave me the shoes, remember? Anyway, he said getting to Mt. Laguna was hell. Yeah, we said. Good call on not doing that, he said. Yeah, we said.

We filtered water and wandered around some hills until we finally found a suitable place to pitch a tent directly next to the trail. A lovely little patch of earth. Anji had a vision of us setting up so we could pass things from one tent to another, all neighbor-like. We did our best, but it wasn’t quite what she had in mind. I still gave our setup an 83% and we took pictures of each of other from one another’s vantage points. She hung up her socks to air out in her tent and laughed a lot, and I tried to get, quite literally, anything done in my tent. The steroids have me half-addled.

She’s decided at this point that my name is Triple Check. I double-triple-check every time we leave to make sure we didn’t forget anything. And I always have to make sure everything is just so.

Triple Check. I like my new name.

Stone Soup and Triple Check.


Categories: Life


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