Oh happy day! Ant has rejoined Team Cycked! on the road to happy destiny. Rainbow Dash was also added, an honorary member of our little train chugging along to Canada.
After spending all yesterday purchasing all of the foods, this morning we woke early and tried to put it all in our Ursack (a bag supposedly able to withstand bear and rodent attacks). The food did not fit. I resolved to eat as much as humanly (hiker humanly, let me clarify) possible today.
Hiker hunger, the beast I was so frightened of early on, has come to me at last. I ate six days worth of food in four days during my last stretch. And yet, instead of regularly turning into the hangry hulk, I have found it easy to realize I am hungry and snack.
Bike & Build taught me how to peel, eat, and stash a banana while riding. The PCT had taught me how to utilize all of my pockets to stash snacks, like some kind of ever hiking squirrel.
“Snacks, snacks, snacks, snacks, snacks, snacks (everybody)” is my regular song — to the tune of “Shots,” obvi!
Anyhoo, one of the adorable older gentlemen Ant has been befriending while staying in Wrightwood was in the coffee shop this morning, and offered us all a ride. We readily accepted, after he told us about how he is building a tiny-ish home with his own two hands. He led us to his car and acted as tour guide all the way up the mountainside.
We had decided to only go ten miles today — a little welcome to the trail for Ant. The view from the top of the trailhead was glorious — white, swirling clouds covering LA and bluebird skies stretching across the desert far below.
It was cold and the trail was covered with snow, slush, or thick mud. We slipped and slopped and I was bouncy inside with happiness — I adore mud. Our toes got cold and Ant and Rainbow got reacquainted after a whole eight days apart — eight days that had lent themselves to nearly full explanations of our lives. As Ant got caught up, a thick mist folded itself between us the the glorious sun.
The temperature dropped and we started getting cold. It was miserable! Even worse than stinging snow in the face, probably because we had no idea where we would sleep tonight. Would we be cold? Would we ever be warm again? Where did that darn sun go?
Five miles in was Rainbow Dash’s turnoff for the summit of Baden Powell (sp?), and our knees knocked through our speedy lunch. Ant and I were happy with our planned detour — losing 2,000 feet to get around the summit, instead of going up. Even better, the detour took us past the whispered about horrors of the first five miles of the official endangered species detour (for a dying frog!). Rainbow intelligently threw in the towel for the day and headed back to town, holding out for the better weather tomorrow promises to bring.
We hugged goodbye for now, and set off slinking along through the chilling cloud. Then, as our happiness at talking in real life lugged us along, the sun appeared without warning. Warmth! Light! It was as if we were back in the Southern California we knew and loved!
We got to camp as fast as the sun came out and I was starving, even faster. I ate huge lunch leftovers, my dinner, and immediately followed it with pudding for desert. My stomach is still stretched with delectable fullness. My hunger is assuaged. And our detour was perfect — but not as good as having Ant leading the way north!