Day 43 - Double Trail Magic - May 18

We got up early and hiked.  I woke up on the wrong side of tent this morning, just thinking about how slow we were going.  It seems like everyone we see is faster than us.  I keep thinking that we're going to get to the Saufley's and they'll be full because all these fast people will beat us there.  The Saufley's have been hosting hikers for years, it's known as Hiker Heaven and it's one of those places on trail you just don't miss.

We saw vegan Daniel at his tent at the same campsite.  It was 8 miles to the ranger station with water.  There were about 8 people there.  I looked in the trail register for familiar names.  I saw Dan and Dave in there, four days ahead, Cliff Walker and Stakes 8 days ahead and Giggles was 2 days ahead.  A few more people arrive.  We met 50 Shades (50 for short) and Ballistic.  50 is an affable guy, from London and he got his trail name from the gray in his hair.   Ballistic is fast up hills and that's how he got his name.  Matt signed his name as "Some Kind of Scientist" on the register, he's trying it out.

There were only thru-hikers at the fire station, usually these places will have a car parked there or some sign of people like some dirty diapers or broken sleds.  I filled up my water and treated it.  A guy that Ballistic and 50 know, Horse Cage, comes up and makes a beeline for the pit toilet. We were about to head out when a Prius drives up.  All these thru-hikers are watching it drive up and park.  I thought at one point, if I were driving up to this scruffy dirty group, I'd think twice about parking there.

He gets out of the car and comes up to is, says he has some drinks and snacks if we want it.  We're like, yes, we want it!  It's trail magic!  He says he'll get out the snacks as soon as he uses the restroom.  We all yell "Horse Cage, get out of there!"

Finally, Koolaupoko gets to use the toilet and then he gets out the trail magic.  We helped him carry the food to the picnic table.  He had so many goodies!  I ate a poppy seed muffin, a Mighty Mango Naked Juice, a mandarin orange, and a white chocolate​ macadamia nut cookie.  More hikers arrived, until there were around 20 of us.  It seemed like most of them knew each other and had been hiking together.
The second trail magic was someone bringing soda, they picked up a hiker and left the soda in Koolaupoko's cooler.  I was too full to eat anything else.  It was a great feeling.

We hiked away feeling refreshed, full and ready to hike.  We left at the same time as a couple from North Carolina, who went to NC State.

We got stopped for water at a little stream.  There were two guys from Israel there.  We asked if they were brothers, but they just look alike.  Matt sat in the trail, as usual, and we decided his trail name is Roadblock.  I'm working on names for the trowel I picked up at the hardware store in Wrightwood.  It has length on it, so I was thinking The Digger Ten Thousand, but it is actually about 1,000 mm.  So, Roadblock called it The Digger Ten Hundred and Brain Turtle said that's not a number and another long discussion ensued.  The trail went uphill from there, and there wasn't much camping.  We finally found a flat spot right next to the trail for cowboy camping.  Then we noticed the cougar tracks next to it.  Since we were almost at a fire closure where you can't camp, the next camping was in about ten miles, too far for our tired bodies that night.  So we camped there at 428.1.  It was a nice view while we ate dinner.  Tanya heard something and said, what is that?  Then I heard it.  It sounded like a young kitten meowing, but a little louder, or it sounded like some kind of bird.  It was likely a cougar.  We decided to sleep right next to each other, which meant I slept right in the trail.  We slept well.  When I got up to pee in the middle of the night, I didn't go far and I didn't turn on my headlamp for long.  We had heard that lights draw cougars in like a cat drawn to a laser pointer.  Let's hope I don't wake up dead.


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