Mile reached: 454.4 (+0.0)
High: Lots and lots of food
Low: Felt lazy not doing any miles
Hiker Heaven is an amazing operation. Two trail angels, the Saufley’s, have been hosting hikers at their home for 21 years! It’s almost a military operation with showers, internet, laundry, a shuttle to town, and a whole lot of property to sleep on.
They also have a flock of chickens led by an aggressive rooster named Cornelius. In the days leading up to my arrival, he had drawn blood from several hikers that weren’t wary of him. So, I spent the night in a dome shelter rather than take my chances outside with Cornelius in the morning.
The others sleeping next to me woke up before six to catch the first shuttle back to the trail. All of the noise they made woke me too, and I waffled for a few minutes on whether I should get up. Ultimately, I had been encountering so many people with injuries that I decided it would be prudent to take my first “zero” i.e. day with zero trail miles covered.
So, I slept in to a more sane hour, and then joined some others loafing around. In particular, I got to know “Rainman”, “Pitch”, and “Mustang” a bit better. (I had played Uno with them the previous night, and for the record “Mustang” is an incredibly abusive Uno player.) The latter two are a Canadian father daughter pair. “Mustang” had decided to do the PCT alone and told her parents, but the trail piqued her father’s interest. So, he decided he would join her despite some mild protests. On day one, they met “Rainman”, who has an amusing and heavily sarcastic dynamic with “Mustang”, and have formed a trio ever since. Though, there was some concern since “Rainman” was now struggling with his second bout of shin splints.
Eventually, I went into town to get lunch and do a resupply. Yet again there was no tuna fish in oil! However, I did bump into Marc, who had camped just outside of town. He joined me to catch the shuttle back, when we ran into “Diogenes” and his dog Kahn. In a rush “Diogenes” handed us his dog leash and ran into the store to go buy beer. Of course, the shuttle showed up just moments later, but we were able to talk the slightly annoyed driver, “Numbers”, into waiting for him.
The afternoon consisted of lots of beer followed by a catered lunch. Slowly, more hikers trickled in and the various circles grew larger. Eventually, people got excited by the prospect of having a fire. “Rainman” lit it, but it was just a two minute cardboard fire. None of the logs really caught. I recalled seeing a gallon of denatured alcohol in the hiker box earlier, so I went and found it. However, our volunteer chaperone, “Numbers”, was not so thrilled with the idea. He quickly reprimanded, “I’m going to need you to not have that anywhere near the fire” and promptly confiscated the fuel. Ironically, the consensus was that we should have acted faster before “Numbers” clued in to what we were up to… After staying at the fairly lackluster fire for a bit, I turned in to leave early the next day.