Most everyone was headed for the next trail angel house, Casa de Luna. Rumored to have taco salad and a magical manzanita forest, it held some allure, but we decided to skip it. Here is where I chose to ignore my intuition (foreshadow alert). We really didn't need to hike 24 miles, but when we passed the campsite we had planned on, it was in full sun, it was early, and we didn't have enough water to sit there the rest of the afternoon. What harm would it do to descend to the fire station, get water and find a place to camp there? It turns out that this decision cost me the rest of my hike.
|We saw Mark several times. We liked Mark. We shared our ice cream with Mark.|
My ankle felt good while climbing, so the next morning all was well. We woke to fog that eventually cleared off as we headed upward and down to the Lake Hughes Road. I started seeing the familiar sights from two years before, when snow forced us off the mountain. The trail wound through an enchanting oak forest and a trail angel gave us water and matzoh. It would have been a good day, except that my ankle started hurting even more. We dropped down to sit at a nice campsite and were tempted to stay there. However, there had been reports of bear activity in the area, and I was convinced that if we moved up to the nearby campground, we could store our food in bear boxes and it would be better. Mistake #2.
|Pretty oak forest|
|This picture does not fully capture the situation.|
The rain began at one am, heralding in one of the most miserable days on trail I have yet to endure. Along with the joy of taking down a wet tent, the rain and wind made it impossible to stop. I marched on, leg throbbing, getting wetter and colder by the minute. Only the foggy oak forest made the death march halfway bearable.
|I normally wouldn't post a picture where I look so bad, but I had to convey the Type II fun we were having.|
|Not as happy as I look at Hikertown|
But as a wise person once said, life sometimes gives you a Plan B, and what is important is how you respond to it. I'm really lucky to be able to do this crazy thing called section hiking. The trail isn't going anywhere. I'll be back.
|The tent city near the outhouse. This camp rivaled Desperation Camp from Section A of the PCT.|