Camping: PCT mile 1205.00
Waking up was difficult after the late night we had dancing at the bar, but I did not want to miss out on breakfast at 7am. The Red Moose was supposed to serve us but they still appeared closed. Blisster and I walked up to the main building, and we noticed some new signs as we left camp. They said, “no camping, effective today.” Then I walked into the cafe entrance and was greeted by a rather surly host, “no breakfast,” he said, “power’s out.” I had barely just rolled out of bed, and though this made sense I was a bit befuddled.
I wandered down the street trying to figure out a strategy for acquiring breakfast and/or coffee in a small mountain town with no electricity. Bob, the bar owner, was setting up a grill outside his bar. He was going to cook us breakfast on his grill and even had coffee! Everyone in town seemed to collect on the bar’s tiny porch to eat bacon, egg and cheeseburgers for breakfast. There was no other place to go at that point, and the burgers were great!
In this time, it was brought to our attention that we were no longer welcome at the Red Moose Inn. The owners wanted us all to pack up and leave immediately, so we all headed back somberly to comply. It was a weird feeling to be there, as I felt it unfair to all of a sudden turn on hikers after advertising as trail angels. We aren’t all the same, and to be lumped together and discriminated against was a new experience for me. I hated the vibe in camp this morning as we packed up, feeling unwelcome and rejected for no explained reason. It did turn out that it was an accumulation of experience, and not just us, but people had been breaking the one rule and being disrespectful. I’m sad to see people taking advantage of the people trying to help us, but it sucks to be treated poorly because someone else ruined it for the rest of us. At any rate, we all took our packs back over to the bar and waited to see if the power would come back on.
The man who runs the general store across the way said power should come on by 11am, so we had to wait until then to shop. In the meantime all of his ice cream was melting, so he brought out a shopping cart full of it and gave us all spoons. We each had a 1.75 quart container, and we enthusiastically shared bites in a wide range of flavors. There must have been about 20-25 of us sitting outside of that store eating more ice cream than is prudent for those of us planning to hike out today. It was a delightful free for all as we dipped our spoons in every flavor, sharing hiker germs like one big happy (though sticky) family.
Afterwards, we all sat around with 1,000 mile stares, groaning a little. We had eaten so much ice cream! It took some time, but we got back to waiting around like pros. Eventually the power did return, and we all flooded the store to buy our resupply. It was slim pickings, and I’m without some essentials this section. They had no ibuprofen, no wet wipes, no salami, and worse of all…no VIA! VIA is the Starbucks instant coffee that I live off of, and I only have one packet left for an entire week. I was able to get a few packs of nescafe from Michael, but not enough to get me to the next town. I guess caffeine withdrawal while hiking is my next step in self development out here. I don’t imagine it will be pretty, as I drink 2 cups a day to supplement my hiking energy. I’m scared to live without it…first world problems, I know.
After resupply I felt like I was going into an ice cream coma. My friends agreed, and a bunch of us wandered over to the park to take naps in the grass. We snoozed off the over indulgence and started looking at the hike ahead. We had a 2,800 ft climb to start out with, and we all sat there dreading it. No one felt motivated, but I arranged to hitch with Danger Spoon and CrackerJack. I wanted to get moving, feeling like it was now or never, and wanting to get the climb out of the way. We ended up getting a ride with the pastor, who was a really sweet woman. Everyone in this town was so nice, aside from our sad experience this morning.
We only planned to hike the 7.5 miles to a camp near a spring. It took a while to get up the mountain, all of us feeling the added weight of town lethargy. Cheeseburger and Blisster caught up to us, and we found camp after nearly completing our big climb. We left about a mile more of climbing for morning, but it should go quickly. The elevation for tomorrow looks pretty reasonable, with one steep climb late in the day. We want to get to Chester in 130 miles by the weekend, but we will see how the week goes. We all had to make sacrifices on this resupply, so hopefully there is no negative effects. If nothing else, it’s all part of the experience, and we will get through it. In the meantime, I look forward to sleeping tonight. Goodnight.