PCT Day 150, Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 69

Sept 9

Mile 906.7 to mile 896.1, 10.6 miles +0.3 miles off-trail from Red’s Meadow back to the PCT, + 0.5miles around Mammoth, 11.4 miles total
PCT total: 1544.3
Running total: 1674.6
I slept in while Matthew set off early to hit the post office and meet Tasty for coffee- I was NOT feeling the chilly morning and was happy to be warm and lazy under the covers. I eventually got up, packed my bear can, then quickly found my way back to the cozy bed.
When Matt returned, we got to work packing our bags & planning our last minute errands. We had originally thought that we would grab one last meal in town, but the day was quickly slipping away from us, & with that, our chances of getting a ride back to Red’s Meadow.
During the summer, there is a mandatory shuttle from Mammoth Mountain to Red’s Meadow, giving PCT hikers an easy and reliable mode of transportation back to trail, BUT, this shuttle had stopped running the day before. This meant that our only options were: paying 80$ for a taxi(ew), walking (double eww), or taking a bus up to Mammoth Mountain and hoping that we could hitch up to Red’s (the obvious choice, BUT, as it got later in the day, fewer people would be venturing in that direction…) We decided to skip town food and head to the mountain asap!
We quickly ran our separate errands and met at the trolley stop that would take us from town to Mammoth Village.

From there, we took a bus up to Mammoth Mountain, where we set to work trying to secure a ride to Red’s.

The first few cars that passed drove right by, and then no cars drove by at all. Shitttt. Matt and I decided to try hitching for another 15 minutes before giving up & dropping the $80 on a taxi, which wasn’t ideal, but neither was spending the entire afternoon waiting for a hitch that wasn’t coming. Just as I was losing hope, a car slowed and came to a stop – were they stopping for us?!? They asked where we were headed and offered to take us to Red’s Meadow, even though they didn’t really know where it was- amazing!! We hopped in and started our journey up the mountain.
Guys, small world moment!!! Eddie and Nicole, our drivers, are from San Diego! And in conversation we learned that Eddie owns a really good restaurant in our neighborhood, Working Class!! It’s located next to our yoga studio & we have gotten take-out there a few times- the menu has great options for both veggies and animal-eaters, so it’s always a great option for us! SO COOL!!! They also own a few other restaurants, one more veggie-heavy in Pacific Beach, which Matt and I are both looking forward to hitting up when we are back in the area. {post trail update: we ate at this restaurant, Second Nature, and it was FABULOUS!! I got the vegan “wings,” nachos, and “sausage” board…highly recommend!!!}
Have I mentioned that the kindness of strangers that we have encountered throughout this journey has totally blown me away?!? Eddie and Nicole are no exception! They refused to let Matthew and I pay the $10 entrance fee, even though they were only going there to drop us off!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! I can’t wait to be in the position to pay it forward (and I really can’t wait to gobble down some general tso cauliflower @ Working Class!!)
After getting dropped off at Red’s Meadow, Matthew and I sat down at the Mule Cafe for a quick lunch before heading out to the trail. We both learned the hard way that a huge, dense milkshake (for Matt) and a massive scoop of ice cream (for me) following a large lunch is NOT ideal pre-hike…ughhhhh. I spent the first 2-3 miles being incredibly nauseous & tired- each step was a challenge, and I started to doubt that I’d be able to hike much farther. Eventually I got a groove and we banged out the last 8 miles.

As we neared our planned tent site we were awed by a beautiful sunset and startled by quite the bold grouse that jumped out of the bushes and then proceeded to lead us down the trail for a bit.

We approached our planned tent-site area just as the last bit of daylight disappeared.

It seemed that as we turned a corner the humidity went from non-existent to absolutely ridiculous- it suddenly became cold, wet, and sticky- I began to dread the cold, damp morning we were in store for the next day.

With our headlamps on, we went to work trying to find the tent-sites. After walking around for 10 minutes or so, I found them quite a bit off-trail and was disappointed to find that the sites were basically a thin layer of dirt on hard, impenetrable stone, making tent set up very difficult! Since we couldn’t hammer the stakes into the ground, we found big rocks to hold down our tent. We crossed our fingers, cooked and ate dinner, then escaped the cool and humid outside air for our cool and humid tent…
Ouccchhhh! My nails have been breaking SO easily these days- I have had quite a few of these ridiculous breaks 😦 need vitamins, stat.

Happiness is: meeting Eddie and Nicole!!!

2 thoughts on “PCT Day 150, Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 69

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