21. May 1: Mile 266.10 Big Bear Lake to Mile 268.62 Doble Trail Camp
I love my trail family. Definitely some of the greatest humans that I have ever spent time around. Was able to sleep in to what felt like at least 9:00 this morning, but turned out to only be 7:00. We get up so early and go to bed so early that it’s hard to stay up very late and sleep in when we’re able to. We packed our things and got our resupply boxes from the post office. I had gummy bears, Keebler fudge cookies, and fig newtons in my box from home along with my maps. The four of us then went to the Grizzly Manor Cafe for 15″ diameter pancakes. I managed to shovel the whole thing down despite my stomach screaming, “for the love of god stop!” On these days in town we’re able to carelessly laugh and cut up about the most senseless things. It’s days like today that make this whole experience worth it. The unlikely friendships that I’ve forged with these unlikely strangers has already been incredibly tight and close even though it’s only been three weeks. We got a hitch to the grocery store from a very kind woman. She had to make a quick stop at her home to try to find her basset hound who had escaped from her yard. We weren’t able to find him and she drove us to the grocery before resuming her search, but she seemed confident that she would find him since he escaped often. At the grocery I made sure to pack out more food as I was having to ration more than I wanted last week. We also bought ourselves beer and some pre made meals for dinner on trail tonight before getting another hitch back to the trailhead. It was within moments of putting our thumbs up that we were able to get not one, but two offers for a ride. The first woman who stopped had three dachshunds and very little room in her sedan for the four of us and our packs, but we were able to cram in and snuggle with the dogs as we drover to the trail. The kindness of these absolute strangers baffles me. At home, people are so cold and afraid of everyone. It’s all about self preservation and eliminating risk. Here people are just willing to help people out, even if those people are loud and smelly hikers. We only hiked two miles before stopping as was our plan. We ate our grocery meals (mine was grocery sushi) and drank our beer as we joked and laughed. Soon, Yardsale, Metric, and Bandit (other hikers that have been around us for a while) showed up and joined in the fun. There is nothing that can replace the simple joys of the life that I’m currently living. It just goes to show how little you actually need to live a fulfilling life that is full of joy.