Day 90 - Beer then Climb - July 4

I slept in.  It was nice.  Rambles and Boots didn't stir for a while either.  I ate some things I had bought yesterday.  I had to use the restroom, so I went into the house, through the bedroom.  The three residents were all on the bed, Mom holding her little one and Dad holding her.  It was a beautiful sight.  I felt lucky to see such a lovely moment and also a little like I was intruding, but she smiled at me and I smiled back.  No words were exchanged.

As I left, I left a little money and a note for the new parents.  I'm pretty sure he didn't want my money, but that's why I left it.  Open and welcoming people like them deserve all the best.

I set off in search of a ride to the trail.  As I walked north through town to one of the interstate on ramps, I remembered something I needed at the grocery store.  Outside the store, I saw a young couple leaving with groceries.  I struck up a conversation with them and mentioned that I was looking for a ride to the trail.  They were heading that direction, to the Castle Crags Campground near the trail, but they were going for lunch at the brewery first.  They invited me to join them and I said I might.  After the grocery store, I went over to the on ramp, but it was very tight with no place to pull over, so I decided that was a terrible place to hitch and I might as well get a beer.

Over at the brewery, I joined Hannah, Boone, Gavin and Tripod.  Boone and Gavin were good friends, they and Hannah had climbed Mt Shasta on this trip.  They're all from Washington.  I had a small salad and a beer, since I had already eaten a late breakfast not long before.  Boone paid for everyone, telling Gavin he can get the next one.

I rode in Gavin's car, Tripod rode in Hannah and Boone's car.  They dropped me at the trail and brought Tripod to the campground.  Tripod was going to hike out in the morning, he had just arrived in town today.

Just getting to the trail,  I met Pickle, who was hiking south.  I met PCTers Mongoose and Gilligan as I hiked that day.  I felt good, maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the lovely day.  Maybe it was the trail magic and good company.  I met Blaken, a young day hiker and her dog Parker, and we hit it off, talking as we hiked up.  She was talking about a waterfall up ahead that was normally dry, but a friend had hiked to it and it was running this year.  When we reached the aptly named Disappearing Creek, the waterfall had disappeared.  I kept hiking to the top of the mountain.  There was supposed to be an amazing campsite up there, touted as the best on the PCT.  The sun set and I kept hiking.  It was late, but I was motivated.  At ten o'clock when I arrived, there were three other tents already there.  In the moonlight, I could see the landscape laid out before, at least 180 degrees of looking out.  There was just one lone light o. A house or building far below.  I hiked 17.8 miles today, even though I started after noon.  I set up my tent and went to sleep quickly.


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