Now that Groucho has returned from the Lemurian abduction he seems different. First of all his butt does a lot of the talking. It seems really invested in weighing in on every conversation. Also he looks strangely like a young Willie Nelson. No matter. We are in love and I can put up with these new factors in our relationship… Barely.
We know future Dad and Twinless camped 5.6 miles behind us last night. We wake early to try to get miles in before it’s too hot. We’ll break in the afternoon and hope they catch up then.
The day progresses so pleasantly. We realize it’s been so long since we hiked a full day together. Just the two of us. We’re back where we started.
We leave a note at a water cistern for FutureDad and Twinless to catch us in mount Laguna tomorrow morning if not before. “Let’s finish together!”
The sparse clouds lend some shade to the day and we breeze along. finishing on a high note… Camped at the most beautiful overlook, drinking a trail hot toddy.
10 hours of sleep is too much. Like all old people I went to bed at 630pm last night. And at 5am I am wide awake. Staring at my phone till the batteries die and then staring at the sky watching 5 shooting stars. The sky lightens and I rustle around making coffee for me and Grouchy. We decided to catch sunrise here since we have a short walk to town. We pack up and take our coffees to the Foster Lookout. As the light grows, the sky pinkens. The terrain is the stuff of Star Trek alien planet renderings. Desert canyons and craggy rock faces.
Then the sound of Ravens calling in the canyon below. A flock?, murder?, crew… Maybe 30… Rise up… cawing and circling in an invisible thermal. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Another 3 crews come thru over the next 20 minutes. They’re migration reminds us of thru hikers. But their intelligence is their own. “They are so smart. How they do that… Assemble, organize, ride thermals, fly? Humans are so arrogant. Assuming our gifts are the only ones worth having.”
“Those ravens are probably looking down thinking “look at those stupid flightless humans.”
We get almost to town and what the what??? Walking toward us is Huck and Bug. I am cautiously happy… “What are you doing?”… Bug replies “We parked in campo and hitched here. We decided we want to hike with you.”
Wow. The team is almost back together. Groucho and I head to town.
I smell bad. But I’ve lost my desire to shower. A problem apparent to me when I bypass the campground showers in Mount Laguna and go straight for the EXCELLENT gear store where I buy toe socks. Gross, hu?
We have only 41 miles to go. We take a day in Laguna … Getting more food, and trying to catch up on blogging. I sit outside the gear store for hours. Looking thru photos I notice my head has grown improbably large compared to my body. I haven’t lost that much weight so it must be my ego swelling.
Eventually hunger drives me to the restaurant where I eat a garden burger. I pick the red onions off the burger and then reconsider and put them back to disguise the smells emenating from my vagina. (sorry mom.)
I look down at my dirty, disheveled body… I’m at the phase of the thru hike where my calves are as big as my thighs but much, MUCH more tan. How can I return to civilization like this??
At 5pm we hike out and continue into dark camping under an old oak tree.
The wrong way gang is back together. We only have 25 miles to get to camp tonight. Our last PCT campsite. We drag our heels taking a long morning break at a camp ground filled with Cowboys. A lady walks by with her horse in tow. “Look at that beautiful horse”. Groucho adds “and it’s slavery jewelry.” “What… Like it’s saddle?” Then from futureDad “oh you mean the lady’s diamond ring?” I’m so proud. Future dad has become a feminist.
We pass a glowing, nine year old section hiker – articulate, smart and good at spotting wildlife. Then, later on the day, two cheerful marathoners a generation older than us (from Kansas City) who are just out for a day jaunt while visiting friends. They want to thru hike in a year or two. Again – anyone can hike the PCT if they have the willingness to make space in their life for it.
We take a second break -for 3 hours- at the deserted Lake Morena campground. Drinking cider, making dinner, chillaxing.
And then just 8 more miles to camp and our last big ascent of the hike. It’s beautiful. I hike mostly with Twinless and we yammer about British history. At dusk we see the glow of eyes ahead on the trail. Curious and cautious it stares bravely into Twinless’s headlamp. Giving us a long time to look at it’s outline. It looks like a little cat with an improbably long tail. At camp Huck googles and comes up with a photo of a kit fox which might be what we saw.