We had been hiking for hours, and my body felt loose — each joint was separate from the next, and I was flopping down the trail, wondering how much further to town.
The morning started much differently — we had awoken out of our glorious dreams to an even better reality. I was in a high, feathery bed stacked tall with blanket after blanket and pillow after pillow. I was deeply embedded with the multitude of blankets pushing me further into the mattress. Ant was there and Rainbow Dash was in the next room.
I padded out to the hallway to see Dash disappear back into her room with a piece of banana dropping into her mouth. There was real coffee in a real coffee machine with real milk in a real coffee cup. Then Teresa appeared with the dogs, hair perfected with a completely matching running outfit — looking so put together and happy. She pointed out the eggs and bacon and toast, setting us loose on the kitchen. Cooking! What a glorious thing!
And we then packed our newly laundered clothes in our packs and plodded happily behind her, past the beautifully manicured lawn and sweet rose garden to her car. She chatted us all the way back to the KOA where we exchanged pictures and hugs.
“Goodbye best trail angel ever!” We all shouted in our heads, offering a plethora of thanks out loud. We still couldn’t believe our luck.
We wandered past fellow hikers in the depressing KOA and walked through a nasty, sewage filled creek to a railroad bed (to the wrong side of the tracks), still shocked by our good luck.
We wandered over hill and dale, lost in a dream of plush leather couches and fires in fireplaces. We broke up the fantasies with shared disbelief, utter gratitude, and important discussions of modern politics and philosophical beliefs.
We wandered into the Vasques Rocks — huge jutting things that looked to spew straight up out of the earth eons ago. They were shaped into graceful caves and empty holes, perfect for climbing or dwelling. We imagined choosing one for home, and how we would set it up and protect it.
And then we were walking through civilization again, along a road with cars whizzing past. We walked straight into Agua Dulce, the town with two restaurants and one famed grocery store.
First order of business: planning on our phones while loitering peacefully in front of the hardware store, legions of our fellows alongside. Then we were off to the grocery store to pick up an incredible seven days worth of food. Delish!
We were proud, as we did it in less than an hour. We packed it all away, it spilling out of our food bags and all over the rest of our packs, but we were thrilled with the large selection. We are getting better at this whole thing!
And then lastly to a underwhelming Mexican restaurant for mediocre quesadillas and strange vegan options. And finally, as dusk settled around us, we were off again — a long road walk out of town to try and find a place to camp before dark drew the curtains on this most glorious day.