Tent site – Hiker heaven
16.8 miles (+ 2 miles to the saufleys). 3176ft up. 4304ft down

I heard Catwater get up to wee in the night. When she came back she was rustling packets for a midnight snack. It got cold in the night and the valley we were in meant a bit of condensation. Wet tent and sleeping bag. 

It was still dark when I started hiking and it was cold, I had intended to wait for Catwater at the cache but I didn’t need any water and it was too cold to hang around so I carried on. The clouds were hanging in the valley and it didn’t warm up until about 11am. My coat may not be waterproof anymore but at least it still keeps me warm. 

At the top of the climb it was a bit sunny, and I sat down to wait for Catwater to catch up. I noticed a bug on me and flicked it off. It felt like it was attached to my skin and I had a massive panic that it was a tick. I found the bug in the dirt and googled ticks with my poor phone connection. It looked like it was definitely a tick. So now I’m panicking about Lyme disease and my mind is running wild. Hopefully it didn’t actually bite me. 

It gets windy and cold and I layer up again and keep moving. I’m dithering about at the top walking backwards and forwards trying to decide if I’m on the trail or not and Catwater comes up over the hill. We carry on. Only 6 miles to Agua Dulce. 

It’s all downhill from here so we get some speed up and get to the road, which is part of the official trail, and we walk into the town. There are some huge very well manicured properties along this road. When we reach the turning for the Saufleys house we nip into the convenience store and get a soda for the 1 mile walk off trail to their house. The saufleys were closed last year so this is something new. When we arrived we were greeted by Doug the caretaker and shown around a very organised operation. We met all the dogs. Josie was my favourite, even more so because Doug, who wears hearing aids, misheard her name and calls her Nosy! We got loaner clothes and our laundry was done for us. Amazing. 

Crusher was there taking a zero day so it was nice to catch up with her, we washed our bodies, I washed my jetboil thoroughly and we sorted through our food. A friend had very kindly sent me a surprise care package with homemade shortbread (my favourite!) and lots of British chocolate which was amazing! I didn’t need to buy anything at the store! 

We got ready to go into town, we walked through the grounds and passed the horses. One of which was just in the middle of having a thundering horse piss, nothing odd there, until all the chickens that were roaming about ran over and started drinking the puddle of horse wee. I had no idea chickens were so gross! 

As we were coming out the gate another hiker was being dropped off by the saufleys son. So he offered us a ride into town! A hitch without hitching. Excellent. The other hiker was called Witch, a SOBO we had never met or even heard of! 

We had $1.25 tacos because it was taco Tuesday at the Mexican restaurant – I have had some terrible Mexican food since I’ve been here but this seemed to be the most authentic and it was definitely the best tasting! The waiters were all so nice and even gave Crusher and Catwater a free margarita. Witch came and joins us, it was nice to get to know her. 

We walked the road back in the dark, we half heartedly tried and failed to get a hitch. Back in the hiker hang out Crusher and I shared a tub of Ben and Jerrys. And we organised for trail angel Mary to give us a ride around the fire closure in the morning. 

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I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps. 

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