It felt like I had slept in, but when I went over to the breakfast place, I was told that they weren’t yet serving food! (This was a first for me!) Luckily, I had brought my journal along. I received a message from someone that I had met on the AT asking me where I would be the following weekend. He said that his company was flying him to LA and that he wanted to come visit me and the trail (he hiked the PCT last year). I was surprised that he had written to me in the first place and even more surprised that he wanted to visit! I calculated where I would be and let him know and he said to tell him when I got to Big Bear. After I ordered my omelet, Greg (Sprinkles) and Spoonman walked in and joined me at my table. Breakfast companions! Yay! They were making a quick resupply stop in town and heading right back out to the trail while I spent the day in town. I headed over to the outfitter to see if they had any hats that would work for me. It was a very small place, but they had several options! I also asked about a headlamp that would be bright enough to night hike with. Muk Muk was going to be arriving shortly, so I decided to head back to the cabin while I thought about my options. She arrived with Chris (the hiker that I met at kick-off who needed a ride back to Warner Springs) and asked if he could stay with us, as well. Of course! (I was allowed to have two other people stay). Sierra Bum came by looking for a place to stay, but luckily found his friends who were staying next door. I took Chris (UB) and Muk Muk to the breakfast place before they stopped serving breakfast and then headed back to the cabin to make a phone call. Then, Muk Muk and I went to the outfitters. By now, it was getting crowded with hikers! I tried on several hats and asked the opinion of a guy who was hanging out there. He also gave me his choice of headlamps. I groaned at the size and weight of it! But I ended up buying it because I did need the ability to night hike and I hadn’t realized that my lightweight headlamp was made for emergency purposes only. (I never night hiked in CO, so it was fine there!). I also asked if there was any way to get my hip belt zipper repaired. The guy who was hanging out in the store said that there was a seamstress in town who I could call. She was located a couple of miles away. Luckily, after talking with her, she told me to ask the guy who knew her to give me a ride there! Muk Muk headed off to the post office and grocery store and I got a ride to the seamstress. She took a look at the broken zipper right away and did her best to repair it. Since it was badly broken, she put a stopper halfway into it so it won’t tear even further and told me to only open it to that point. It only cost me $10! I was so happy that I gave her a hug. Clark drove me back to the inn and I offered him some gas money. He declined but said that I could buy him a beer later. He asked me where I was having dinner. I told him that my friends and I were planning on eating at a restaurant that I had heard good things about. He told me where he would be and that I should stop by. Then, he got out of the car, looked at my legs, and asked me if I was a runner. After more talking, I told him I had to get back to my cabin. The sun was burning my skin and I had lots of things to do yet! I needed to get to the post office to mail my extra things home before they closed first and foremost, which meant I had to do a lot of sorting!
While I had been away, Muk Muk and Chris had brought their laundry over to the office to be done and Chris found an extra pair of shorts in the hiker box to wear in the meantime. After a couple of hours, a rash started developing on his legs under the shorts! He had broken out from poison oak! Another hiker who I had never met had also made himself at home on the couch in the living room. Muk Muk volunteered to buy Chris some calming lotion, so we set out to the drugstore and post office. Then, I had to return to the outfitters and actually buy a hat and headlamp! I asked the owner for his opinion and he said that he could see me sashaying along the trail in one of them. My eyes grew wide as I said, “That’s my trail name!”.
It was now time for dinner and the consensus was pizza. The four of us walked over, laughing along the way. Chris apologized for sequestering himself to work on the videos he was making from footage he had taken on the trail. He wanted to offer his hike to his viewers in as close to real-time as possible. I was amazed at his ability to do that! As we walked back to our cabin, we were invited to hang out with the hikers next door. They said they would have a fire. Muk Muk decided to stay and blog while Chris and I eventually went over there. I wanted to see his videos! It turned out to be not what I expected- just some zoned out hikers staring at the TV. I wished we had stayed back at our cabin. Finally, Chris showed a couple of his videos to Sierra Bum and I got to watch, as well. They brought tears to my eyes! I was impressed with his admission about the struggles he had faced earlier in his life and his wanting to hike the trail to make a positive change and set an example for his two children. And I found the music that he chose, the images that he had captured, and the way he presented them to be extremely artistic and moving. The guy who had been hanging out in our cabin came over and as it became dark outside, I asked him where he was staying. He said the couch in my cabin! (He had told Muk Muk who had invited him over that he was staying at the campground in town). I didn’t feel like I could tell him he couldn’t stay there now that it was dark outside, but none of us were happy about this… UB told him that he could share the cost and that he should give the money to me, but he refused to look at me and never offered to contribute.
As I tried to fall asleep, I heard Muk Muk and UB talking and giggling in their room. They were having a slumber party! (Cute!).