Total Mileage 16
It rained until midnight and we let ourselves sleep in, knowing we couldn’t access the post office until 8am and hoping to give our tent and other gear a chance to dry during the sunny, cold morning. Neither of us slept well since there were about 30 other tents packed under the shelter of an old oak tree- a din of Mountain House farts, belches, sneezes, coughs, loud sleeping pads, zippers zipping.
Josh started walking to the post office around 730, and the sheriff showed up to give rides to the PO around 8am. We retrieved a box of food we had mailed ourselves, plus an encouraging letter from a coworker of mine and an awesome box from my parents with cheese, jerky, salami, and basically all the good stuff that’s a little too expensive to pack out.
By 9am we had itchy feet and were ready to get hiking- Warner Springs was stinky, loud, and crowded with hikers due to the weather. Josh went to grab our packs and some hiker’s dog bit him! The guy looked sheepish but we were both pissed and feeling awkward and out of our element so we just grabbed our packs and ran out of there.
The hike was a long, tough ascent and we were carrying a lot of water, but we started leapfrogging other hikers as we hiked/snacked/siesta’d and caught up with Radio, a guy we’ve been a couple miles behind or near since Day One. The company + the sunshine helped shake off some of the weird darkness or Warner Springs and the day felt good. Radio informed us that a popular trail angel, Mike, was at mile 127 and would have beer, barbecue chicken and grilled vegetables, and water for the hikers. It’s funny how news like that travels up and down the trail; every hiker we saw, “you headed to Mike’s place?”
I was still feeling jumpy and weird from Warner Springs, though. I wasn’t sure I wanted to camp around a bunch of people again or really even interact with them. The promise of beer and a grill was too much for Josh, though, and we hotly debated the day’s destination as we hiked. Finally my sad pinky toe blisters won and we camped two miles short of Mike’s. It was a beautiful spot and we ate Knorr cheddar and broccoli rice for dinner while the sun set. We even got a little cell service so I texted my parents a bit to sort out my jangled nerves.