PCT Day 85 – Friday July 7
Chester Mile 1328.8 to Mile 1328.4
PCT Miles Hiked Today: .4
Total PCT Miles Hiked: 978.4
Feet Ascended Today: 5.2
Feet Descended Today: 138
Current Elevation: 5020.7
In the morning I awoke to a hotel room all to myself and sighed with happiness. I worked on my blog for a couple of hours and then went to Cravings Coffee Shop next door to the hotel. The proprietor of Antlers Motel had recommended it so highly the night before that I felt compelled to check it out. It was a very nice cafe and had the kind of food I was used to eating in Seattle – slightly more sophisticated fare and even with decent vegetarian options. I ordered the bacon waffles (bacon was mixed into the batter) and was very happy with my selection.
The rest of my group hiked into town and were at the laundromat, so I checked out of my room and met the girls there. We spent a couple of hours washing clothes and working on our gear. I mended my skirt while I waited for my clothes to dry – I had previously taken in the waist but the stitches had come out. So I re-worked the stitching but this time made smaller stitches and took more care so that they would *hopefully* last longer.
The girls were hungry for lunch and asked for recommendations – I suggested Cravings so we trooped over to the cafe and I ate a second meal in a row there. The lunch was even tastier than the breakfast and my friends were glad that we chose to eat there.
We spent the afternoon at the cafe, powering our devices and using the wifi to catch up with family and friends. As we worked, a young waitress at the cafe came by and told us that her mom was a local trail angel who offered showers, food and rides to hikers. We’d already showered and eaten but we wrote down her mom’s phone number just in case.
Monarch walked over to the post office and finally got the package with her new shoes and clothes that had been in limbo for the past week. She had put over 700 miles on her Altras and was SO RELIEVED to get new footwear. Her sister mailed the package and even wrote a cute note on the outside of the box.
Later in the afternoon, we walked across the street to the grocery store to resupply. I have a resupply box mailed to me at the next town, Belden, so I only needed to pick up a few supplemental foods here – bagels, cheese, some fresh fruit and veggies. We had planned to hitch to the trail directly afterwards, but while we were at the store we ran into the girl from the coffee shop who was shopping with her mother. They invited us over for a home-cooked meal and offered to drive us to the trail afterwards. So of course we said yes!
We all squeezed into her SUV – it was a tight with all of our backpacks as we had to put them on our laps – and drove to her house. The trail angel (I feel terrible as I forget her name right now) and her two teen-aged children and their three dogs welcomed us warmly and made us feel right at home. They had a homey house with adorable pictures of the teens from their childhood all over the walls. We sat at the dining room table drinking wine while they cooked us a tasty vegetarian pasta dinner with soda and ice cream cones for dessert.
By the time we finished dinner and conversation and all took turns using the bathroom (a flush toilet? yes please!) it was getting late. She dropped us off at the trailhead after 9:00 pm and we were too tired to hike the 3-4 miles that we initially planned. So we hiked until we found a reasonably flat-ish spot on an abandoned logging road and pitched our tents.
What a surprisingly lovely ending to my day 🙂