PCT Day 40

May 22, 2019

Mile 493 to mile 517.6, 24.6 PCT miles, no off trail miles!!
Running total: 543.4 miles
We woke up to more rain coupled with a ridiculous, constant howling wind that we could hear blowing everywhere but where we were- we were SO lucky!! (We heard that the people who camped at a campground just 5 miles beyond us didn’t sleep at all due to the high winds! I also heard rumors of frequent bear visits there AND a baby rattle snake in the pit toilet there…I gladly would chose no pit toilet vs snake toilet!)
After another slow-to-rise morning (it’s so hard to get motivated to freeze!) Matt and I packed up and headed out around 0730. Arc had headed out before us, and Big Momma stayed under cover for a little longer!!

The day started with a subtle but cold and windy climb. I had frequent wardrobe changes: got warm, took pack off to take puffy off. Started to rain, pack off to put rain coat on. Started to sweat and got sunny, pack off to take raincoat off. Got cloudy and super windy, pack off to put rain coat back on. The weather changed with each turn- from hot and sunny to cloudy to miserable. The gloves kept coming on and off, and eventually I just left them on…
Just before mile 499.4 we found Arc settling in at a beautiful lunch spot- great view and sunshine!! We enjoyed the break while we waited for Big Momma to catch up.

Snowclouds over the Sierras 😦 😦
Big Momma soaking up some sunshine for her soul and drying out her tent

While we were sitting there, a man drove by (who knew there was a dirt road there??!) and asked us if we were PCT hikers and if needed him to get us anything. When we declined, he offered to take our garbage so we didn’t have to carry it. He told me that he has dreams of hiking the trail one day and was envious of us. A lot of people speculate that the overwhelming generosity we encounter along the trail stems from people wanting to live vicariously thru us or be a piece of our puzzle- there might be something to that!! {Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I forgot to mention! While we were hiking up by the Agua Dulce Movie Ranch the other day, a man called out from his home to see how our stay at Hiker Heaven was and asked if we wanted or needed Gatorade! So nice! He also said in past years it has been 105° when hikers pass thru…woof! we lucked out!}

Shortly after lunch we hit the 500 mile mark! Dang!

We took pics then hustled on- Matt and I had a goal of making it 15.7 more miles to Hikertown/Wee Vill before 6:45pm and it was a few minutes after 1pm.

It was windy, and cloudy, and foggy, and cold, and SNOWING! Fuckin snow! And we had steep declines. I had been feeling awesome today up until this point- my back started dying(felt better immediately after readjusting my pack!) and every rock I stepped on killed my foot- and the cold didn’t help anything!!

The last 3 miles were the most difficult of the day- not due to ridiculous elevation gains, but instead tired legs and small but frequent ups and downs.

Eventually we reached the last .5 miles and ended the day getting slapped by the wind as we walked out of the mountains and across a flat dirt road.

The dirt road intersects a pretty busy highway, and it is at this intersection where Hikertown lives.

SO, Hikertown- it looks like a ghost town but is really a small foundation of tiny houses/cabins that hikers can rent out for $10/cabin. Many have reported that Hikertown is incredibly creepy, so we opted to set up camp at Wee Vill, a little market a few miles down the road from Hikertown- BUT, in chatting with a couple who stayed at Hikertown for a few days, it isn’t terrible there: they offer cabins with no electricity (whatever, we are living in tents…), a full communal kitchen that you are free to cook in, a free shuttle to a market down the road, and when we had that terrible wind and rain storm and they ran out of cabins, they welcomed people to seek shelter in a large room where they were able to set up their sleeping bags. Doesn’t sound terrible to me! (Pics to follow eventually….) BUT, that being said, I’m so happy we chose to stay at Wee Vill-
When we reached Hikertown we called Wee Vill for a ride, but not without struggle- our fingers were SO cold that Matt couldn’t work the phone and I couldn’t unclasp my pack!! Anwaysss, once we figured it out and called, the awesome lady who answered the phone announced that their grill closes at 6:45 (it was 6:30) but before Matt and I could get upset that we weren’t getting a real dinner, she offered to put in an order for us over the phone. (Haha yes, more food! But when we are otherwise living off of instant potatoes, complete cookies, tuna packets, ramen, and knorrs sides, we welcome real nutrition when we can get it!!)
I ordered a rice and bean burrito and Matt got the double bacon cheeseburger and we both ordered side salads. While we waited for our ride, a man did a u-turn in the middle of the road to see if we were in need of water- what?? So nice!!

We ended up getting picked up by a man named Merlin in the Wee Vill van, who delivered us to the market where we found a hot dinner waiting for us!!

We ate, set up camp, and enjoyed catching up with Kez (now Olaf) and Watercolor- and then I consumed 2 hot chocolates and 2 cups of plain, hot water to warm up!

Happiness is: discovering Wee Vill. SO, Wee Vill is a convenience store/market with a cafe. It’s seemingly in the middle of nowhere but actually has a steady flow of customers- locals, truck drivers, road trippers, and during the season, lots of thru hikers!!
They allow thru-hikers to camp out back and have a bathroom and hot showers for us! They also offer laundry, but I’m not sure where or how??
And they are the first place that didn’t fuck up my burrito!! I asked for just beans and rice and got just beans and rice!! (If you’re following my burrito saga, I’ve ordered a lot of rice and bean burritos on trail and have gotten just beans, black beans vs the refried I requested, added potatoes when I didn’t want them, and a burrito smothered in sauce…go figure!)
I thought it was so thoughtful to offer to take our order over the phone, AND they let Matt and I shop around, pick out snacks and drinks, and when it came time to paying they just took our word for what we ate.
AND! As the store was closing and they started cleaning they told me not to rush back into the cold- Uh-frickin-mazing.
Matt and I went to bed planning for an early am and early start…

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