When I opened the door of my motel room in the morning to step out into the world, I was blinded by the sun and had to quickly shut the door and retrieve my sunglasses! It’s funny how new this California sun is to me still and how easily I forget about it! I walked over to the office to find out when the mail was expected to arrive, hoping I wouldn’t be stuck there until the late afternoon waiting for my sleeping pad to arrive. I planned on walking back to Nelda’s for breakfast, but the owner told me that there was a closer place called the “Dam Korner” that had better breakfasts, so I headed there instead. I ordered my usual omelet and toast and then asked for an order of french toast after I finished. I felt like I could sit there all day, eating!
I decided that wouldn’t be the best idea, however, and headed out to find the post office to pick up the box I had sent to myself from Mojave as well as send Erik a check for the fleece jacket that he was mailing to Kennedy Meadows for me. I returned to the motel office to see if my sleeping pad had arrived and found Salty sitting there! “Wendy…” he said. “I turn my back on you for five minutes and you run off to the highway!”. Ooops… I explained that he went off with Iceman and Cattywampus and didn’t seem to care about me, and how uncomfortable I was in the wind, so I decided to try my luck at hitching! He apparently was hoping that I would help get him a ride, but it turned out that he got a much quicker hitch than Chip and I! Everything was fine. We agreed to have lunch together in a few hours. I still had to figure out when and how I was getting back to the trail. The motel owner said I could make a cardboard sign and stand at the freeway exit. Or I could wait until the following morning and get a guaranteed ride with Salty’s Dad. What to do, what to do… The owner commented on my inability to make a decision. I decided it would be nice to take a rest day and paid him for another night. I now had my new sleeping pad and waterproof mittens for the Sierras and I spent the next couple of hours sorting through my resupply items and journaling for a bit before heading back to the Dam Korner for a chicken sandwich with Salty. I bought a mocha from the espresso shop on the way back and Skyped with my Swiss friend in the afternoon.
Salty and I planned on walking to Nelda’s for dinner, and he gathered up Will and Roadrunner to join us. They had hiked the PCT about six or seven years ago and I asked him Will if it was so windy back then (Ted had explained that most of the windmills in the area were a recent addition within the last couple of years). He said that no, it was not nearly as windy then, and that there were not nearly as many burn areas as there now are along the trail. We talked about hikers we knew and there whereabouts and he told me that Lorax was about a day behind. I wondered how that could possibly be!
All day, I had been experiencing cramps and was having other PMS symptoms, but it was much too early for this to be happening and I couldn’t understand what was going on! By the time we reached Nelda’s, I was in a lot of pain and sat in the booth with my hand on top of my stomach. I ordered a chicken sandwich, which turned out to be really bad. We had a new waitress and for a reason that we couldn’t understand, she found it extremely funny that Salty asked if he could have cornbread with his chili! Roadrunner told us about her near-death experience from almost drowning in a raging creek in the Sierras the last time they hiked the PCT and advised me to listen to my gut and wait for someone to come along if it told me a creek was too dangerous to cross alone. I told her I would.
Our milkshakes arrived, but my stomach was now hurting so much, that I couldn’t enjoy or finish mine. Terrible!
Roadrunner and Will headed to the grocery store on the way back, while Salty and I went to the drugstore so I could buy a few things that I needed, included the tube of Vagisil for any future chafing! I had no idea where to find it in this huge store, so I had to ask a male worker where it was! I was also getting worried that I might run out of memory card space in the Sierras, so I decided to buy a second one in case. I bought two more Snickers bars, an avocado, and a banana and then headed to the check-out counter while Salty played with a bouncing ball. I asked him if he could help me download a map and waypoint App onto my phone and he filled me in on what I was doing wrong.
Once back at the motel, Salty said that he would not be going out for breakfast in the morning in order to save money, and would eat out of his pack, instead. Will and Roadrunner had made the decision to get a ride back to the trail from Salty’s Dad in the late morning, so Salty said he would knock on our doors when he arrived. We said goodnight and headed to our separate rooms.