mile 1155.1-approx. 1175.1
I didn’t have to get up super early because I had to wait for the post office to open in Soda Springs. I did wish I had a little more privacy from oncoming hikers in both directions….
I made my way down the hill and came to a road, which was not the highway. I didn’t see where the trail continued, but did see a mountain biker on the road to the right and decided to ask him how to get to the highway. I think I took the long way! There were two busy roads and I didn’t know where to stand to hitch, so I moved around a few times and then stopped a driver to ask where I should be. I had to move again. Fortunately, a nice man stopped and brought me into town.
The post office had still not opened, so I went into the store and looked around for some super glue. It was the only thing I needed there. When the post mistress arrived, she let me right in, handed me my two boxes, and asked me to sign the register. I love small, friendly post offices! One of my former lab mates had sent me a package of rice dinners and peanut butter- things he thought would be gentle on my ailing belly. (Thank you, David!). I sorted through my supplies, sent the extra things back home, and then returned to the store to ask the woman at the deli if she would mind filling my water bottles for me. Then, I stood by the road, hoping for a quick hitch back to the trail. A nice woman stopped. She had read “Wild” and was interested in my journey, especially as a solo female. We didn’t have much time to chat, however, as the trail head was less than three miles away and she needed to get to work. We found StoryTime and his friend that had taken us into South Lake Tahoe, with massive amounts of food spread out in the dirt, trying to decide what he wanted to take with him in the next section.
I put my pack on, headed across the road, and started the climb at 10:00.
I could see a train tunnel across the way, which was part of the first transcontinental railroad. It was another hot day. I met a couple with a dog who chatted with me for a minute, and then later met two ladies hiking south. When they realized what I was doing, they commented on how brave I was, and asked me if I wanted any snacks, such as craisins. “No, thank you.” I had plenty of processed food.
“What about some strawberry and peach pieces? Would you like that?”.
My eyes opened wide. “Yes!”. I could not turn down fresh fruit. However, I felt badly that I was taking their nice snack away from them! “On, no. We want you to have it! You can keep the container, too!.” I told them I was planning on stopping for a break soon, so I just kept the container in my hand. How sweet of them!
I ended up waiting to take my break until I arrived at the restrooms off Interstate 80. I have to say that this was a little bit of heaven for me! Bathrooms with toilet paper (I was always afraid of running out with my problem), running water to wash my hands, shade, and even an outlet to put some more charge into my phone! I sat on the lobby floor and devoured the delicious fruit pieces.
Then, an older couple approached and asked me if I was hiking the PCT. They said their nephew had hiked it a couple of years ago and had just proposed to his girlfriend, who was hiking the trail this year. “You probably don’t know her,” the woman said. “She’s ahead of you.” They wished me well and went on their way.
I packed up my things and headed out, once again not knowing how to get back on the trail, even after looking at my maps! I walked along the highway and over a bridge and then my app showed me I was getting father away from the PCT instead of closer. I realized that I was supposed to cross the highway underneath the bridge! I had to carefully make my way down a steep, sandy slope, and then found that I was blocked by trees! Great! The only thing I could do was push the branches aside and force my way through. “Are you alright?” someone asked. It was StoryTime. He had thought that I was a bear!
“I’m fine.” Sticky sap was now on my backpack and clothes, but at least I got through the branches.
I walked through the dark tunnel and made my way back into the woods, catching up to StoryTime as he tried to figure out which of three paths to take. A couple out for a day hike helped us out. I stepped over a giant fallen tree and started moving up the next climb. I was proud of the pace I was keeping, and now that I had some extra charge in my phone, decided to treat myself with a little music! It helped keep me going strong. StoryTime never caught up.
I started to get tired as the day wore on. In a marshy area of the trail, I met a group of three who were out for a couple of nights. They seemed to be having a good time and wanted to take pictures of each other when a view appeared. I was just intent on getting in my miles.
I sat down on a rock along the trail and ate a Snickers bar to try to boost my energy for the last few miles of the day. Then, Cuddles and Emma came along! It was nice to see them! We chatted for a few minutes and then followed each other in a line. Emma took the lead. This woman is absolutely amazing! She outdoes us in every department- looks, talent, and hiking ability! Tomorrow, she would end her 400 mile section hike with a violin concert with Cuddles at the Red Moose Inn in Sierra City. I fell behind slightly, and Cuddles took the middle space. Emma said she was willing to stop at anytime, and when they found a nice place to camp, decided to call it a night. I went on a little further in order to let them enjoy their last night on the trail together. I climbed a hill, saw an opening at a turn, and went to investigate. I found a real campsite! Unfortunately, it was an abused one with lots of broken glass. I set up camp, boiled water for my pasta, and then took it over to a log to watch the sunset. It was amazing! A deer even stopped in for a visit!
I also found that I had reception and was able to text a friend for a little while. I was feeling a bit emotional and just wished to be a part of people’s hearts.