Day 33: My Only Friend, The End

Mile Reached: 702.2 (+0.0)

High: Finally figuring out where Lucas is!

Low: Feeling so queasy in the evening. I guess greasy tacos, a pint of ice cream, beers, a quart of milk and a double cheeseburger don’t mix.

So, the General Store has new owners this year, and it’s a pretty poorly run operation. As I discovered in the morning, one of the biggest points of contention among the hiker trash is that the outhouses are completely full i.e. there would be splash back if one were to use them. So, things kind of continue to go downhill from there with issues with laundry, showers, Wi-Fi, etc.

New shoes! They were amazing.

I did hang out on the patio in the morning attempting to charge my gear, when “Poseidon” arrived. After a brief round of clapping, I gave him the salutary fist bump and traded the usual questions, “Where were you last night?”, “Did you run into so and so?”, etc. However, someone had offered him a beer as he came in, so he needed to go claim that. With nothing else going on I followed after him.

Hiker milling about in front of the General Store.

It turned out that a trail angel had recognized him all the way back from the 74 near Idyllwild. As we got to talking, it turns out that this trail angel was the brother of a woman that shared my start date. He introduced me to his sister Leanne, and we were both struck with disbelief. There were so few of us this far forward (most people we’re meeting started weeks before us) how could we have not heard of or bumped into each other at some point?

I insisted that if we had ever crossed paths, she would probably remember me. I stood up motioning toward my shorts and her face immediately lit up. She remembered meeting me just outside of Wrightwood. She was slackpacking, and I had past her. I remembered her as well, because I was having trouble shaking her even on a big climb. What was even funnier was that “Poseidon” was close by then as well. I would stop to get water, Leanne would pass me, and then I’d find “Poseidon” waiting to let “Conflicted” get far enough away that he wouldn’t run into him again. As it turned out, “Conflicted” found Leanne and latched on to her. She revealed that she was very conflicted about the whole encounter, because he wouldn’t stop talking to her. As they say, the trail has a way of bringing people together.

“Poseidon”, Leanne, and the aftermath of afternoon activities

The other big discovery was learning where Lucas was. He and I had been leapfrogging each other for the first two days, then I slowed down slightly. When I tried to catch him after Julian, I kept missing him by hours. Eventually, no one knew who he was anymore, and I thought he might have just dusted me. However, this trail angel met him and gave him strawberries, so Lucas wrote him a poem titled “Strawberries”. The trail angel had been following him on Instagram ever since, and informed me that he is just a few days behind!

I also had a chance to weigh myself on the scale. (Amusingly, there is always someone insisting that the scale must be broken, because they’ve lost too much weight.) Alarmingly, I discovered that I’ve lost around 7 pounds. So, I promptly spent the afternoon gorging myself on various foods.

I met a couple bikers coming back from the 49ers Rally. There were colorful guys and started to offer me beers (finally someone bought me a beer). Leanne’s family also invited “Poseidon” and me over for dinner at their campsite. By then, I wasn’t feeling quite so well and eating again made me sick to my stomach. When we were dropped back off at the General Store, I was ready to throw up, but I couldn’t let all that hard work go to waste. So, I crawled into my tent and feel asleep whimpering.

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