Set my alarm for 5 but I slept through it. Woke at 6:16 and I was so annoyed with myself, I wanted to get a good head start so I wasn’t last to the agreed stopping point at the water source. I set off at about 7 and I was grumpy with myself all morning.
And I stink. Like I really stink.
A lot of the the trail was sandy today – deep sand like you are walking along a beach. That’s tough on the old legs.
I took the anti inflammatory tablet Papa Smurf gave me, it seemed to ease the pain a bit but I was expecting a miracle cure straight away and a miracle cure I did not get. I could still feel a twinge and the movement was still restricted. I was getting more and more annoyed with myself. I turned my phone on and had a few messages from home – it was so nice and gave me just the boost I needed.
I carried on and hiked about 8 miles before I bumped into Kat. I was stood talking to her and my hip cracked. The loudest, most satisfying crack it has ever done. Crack. Like a gunshot. The type of crack that makes people go – urgh what was that?! That was your hip?! Whatever it was that had been restricting my movement had just loosened.
I felt euphoric.
I practically ran the next 5 miles – I was doing about 4 miles an hour, twice my recent pace and my stride just doubled. I can walk (almost) normally! I simply cannot describe how happy this made me. There is still only around 90% full movement at the rear extension, but seriously, the feeling was amazing. I’m a lean mean hiking machine. Ok, so I’m still working on the lean part.
I was so excited, I arranged a selfie. Then I remembered I really shouldn’t be lifting my armpits. I really do smell. (The pictures don’t do the filth justice!)
I am grateful that I am still walking. Some people had to take days off for shin splints and blisters. I have heard of 4 people who have had to do this so far.
As I continued hiking, I was expecting Kat to pass me in around half an hour but there was no chance she was catching me. I. Was. Flying!
The terrain changed and I spent most of the afternoon walking through cool boulder fields, watching the lizards scatter around me.
I saw 3 snakes today, a couple of garter snakes and a back and red striped one that nearly made me fall off the trail! They all slithered away too fast for a photo.
I continued hiking like a lean mean hiker until my feet were screaming at me. I hadn’t eaten much all day and my stomach was rumbling, so at around 3pm I stopped for half hour to rejuvenate. I was at the front of the pack, where I wanted to be, but I’m not sure I liked it! What if no one catches up?! Kat came by and we walked the last 1.5 miles to the water source making an 18 mile day. As we were filtering our water we saw Cindy who was at Scout and Frodos with us. She advised us to go down to Mike’s house as there was soda, beer and cupcakes, and the promise of dinner! Oh ok then, if you insist!
We walked down the path to Mike’s house and we were the only ones there. The dogs were barking at us, there was stuff everywhere, it looked a bit like a scrapyard, there was the biggest jar of weed I’ve ever seen on the table and I was beginning to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into! Mike wasn’t home but Tom was looking after the place and he had clearly been making the most of ‘that jar’.
The whole stoner scene isn’t really my thing but the people who do do it are actually very considerate. No one pushes anything on you and when the family with the children arrived it was taken elsewhere on the announcement that ‘minors are coming’. And that’s something I forgot to mention, there is a family out hiking (the Ravens) – mum, dad, 12 year old boy and 9 year old girl! 9 years old!! They consistently do 15 miles a day. I asked her if she was enjoying it and she said her feet hurt. I know the feeling!
We asked if we could get a bed for the night, there was an RV and a bunkhouse. The RV is reserved for women because they aren’t as dirty as the boys (debatable right now!). So we got the RV and I pretended I was in Breaking Bad…
We chilled out with a soda/ beer and hoped and prayed that some more people would make it here. Some of my herd left Warner springs late as they had to wait for the post office to open, so not sure if they will make it here today.
As afternoon went on more people started arriving, it was so good to see them. This is Half Fast, Shaggy and Blisters:
Tom and Mom (that’s what everyone calls her) who are running this ‘joint’ are going to kick off tomorrow so we have to eat everything in the fridge. Ok! They cooked up a storm of burgers, chicken rice, potato salad, lasagne, spaghetti, chilli casserole…so much food! Food that we weren’t expecting to have.
Mom finished the evening off with a quiz an the first question was – what year was Prince Andrew born? All eyes on the only Brit in the room! (I got it right in 2 guesses). I earned myself 7 bits of candy in the quiz which is hopefully going to power me up the hills over the next couple of days!
People kept coming in, some in the dark. There must be about 20 – 25 people here…
Kat, Cuban B, Half Fast, Blisters, Ryan, Bush Tit and Tom Tit (The Tits), JBird, Pop, Papa Smurf, Roxanne, Shaggy, the Ravens, Terry, Casey, No Trace, Unbreakable and a bunch of people I don’t know the name of yet.
Tomorrow brings a long day and a dry camp…