April 26, 2012
We decide not to get back on the trail. A storm came in last night. Cold, wet, and rainy. Natalie’s cold is worse. Mine is getting better but I still don’t feel so good. My feet need to heal. Ashley is healthy and feels like hiking, but she’s okay with a rest day since Natalie and I need one.
At breakfast, we talk with Early Girl and Waterboy, a retired couple who thru hiked a chunk of the trail in 2011 and will be hiking again this year where they left off. We met them at dinner last night. They offer to drive the girls down to the Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off (ADZPCTKO). That’s where they are headed but they only have room for two.
We rest some more. Natalie sleeps. I watch damp hikers straggle in.
We walk over to Mom’s Pies for lunch. Early Girl and Water Boy join us. The lady at the counter welcomes us in. “You look like hikers. Have some tea or coffee. In a bit, we’ll feed you when you’re warmed up.” Mom’s Pies provides a meal of half a sandwich, a cup of soup, and a piece of pie to hikers. Cold, sick, sore feet, and a “mom” to take care of us. Apple boysenberry pie. Incredible generosity. Thank you.
The girls leave to ride with Early Girl and Water Boy to the Kick Off. I hang out looking for a ride. A truck pulls up and a guy shouts out, “Anyone need a ride to Kick Off?” “Yes.” I ride to Kick Off with Quakes, who thru hiked last year.
We pull in to Lake Morena. I hobble over to where the girls are hanging out. They tell me Dr. Sole is next door and they’ve made an “appointment” for me. Dr. Sole works on my blisters. I’m his first “patient” this year. He’s a retired truck driver. His son is a hiker. For the last four years, he’s been working on hiker’s blisters at the Kick Off and other spots along the trail. As a volunteer. What a service.
Later we go to the live game show hosted by Freefall, “Who Wants To Be A Thru Hiker.” Pretty funny. We catch up with hikers we started with who are further along the trail now than we are. And we meet new hikers that are just starting at the Kick Off.
PCT Day 9: No miles hiked. Camped at Lake Morena.