April 25, 2012
Clouds came in last night and it’s overcast. Feels like a very long three to four miles as I walk down the hard, rocky trail off Granite Peak and across the flats to Scissors Crossing.
Hiking with blisters. Take a step. Foot says, “That hurts.” I say, “I know.” Take another step. Foot says, “That still hurts.” I say, “I still know.” And so it goes.
Eventually, trail trance is achieved. Just registering the immediate and placing feet to avoid twisting ankles and tripping. Of course, this all gets interrupted when a rock is caught solidly under a blister.
With Vitamin I (ibuprofen), however, and the rhythm of hiking, blister pain is relegated to the periphery along with the new pain that has developed on the top of my left foot.
I catch up with Ashley. She has stopped to check out a rattlesnake just off the trail under the leaves of a yucca. A large one buzzing away. (That makes three rattlers we’ve seen so far). This one might even be a Mojave Green. We give it a wide berth.
We catch up to Natalie. As we approach where we cross the highway, we see chairs and coolers tucked in the brush beside the trail. And people beckoning “come here.” Who, us? Are these some sketchy Californians out partying in the desert?
What? Big smile. Trail magic. Cold beer and soda, fresh fruit, apple pie from nearby Julian. Natalie says it’s the best day of her life. Thank you Pinky and Dead Animal.
We rest and chat with hikers. Ashley asks Pinky if the trail has changed her. She answers, “Yes, I’m making changes and trying to live like this forever.”
We hitch in to Julian. Yesterday, we heard hikers talking about staying in Julian for the night then going to the Kick Off. And about Julian’s famous apple pie. I’m thinking: pie, rest the colds, rest my blisters. We hitch a ride in the back of a plumbing truck. We’ve hiked 70 miles. We’ve earned it.
We check in at the Julian Lodge. Showers, laundry, naps, wifi and skype with Lori, pizza, buy Nyquil at the store, carpet underfoot (strange sensation), more showers for the girls (guess they were very dirty), take the Nyquil and start to pass out, bed and pillows. Luxurious.
PCT Day 8: 4 miles hiked to Scissors Crossing. Hitched into Julian, CA and stayed at the Julian Lodge.