NCT Mile 58 to 76

Today started out ultra confusing.  We received a message from Shauna on our Garmin while in the middle of enjoying our coffee and strop waffles.  The message read, “waited for you by the cabin for a couple hours, heading home now.”  Which made no sense to us as we thought the plan was for them to meet us at the campsite, we even managed to get a single text out with the LC-5 site number.  

We eventually got a call out to Shauna about a mile into our day’s hiking.  Turns out they were less than a quarter mile from our campsite and neither of us had any idea.  Needless to say, Brianna and I feel like real A-holes about the mixup.  It’s not entirely our fault but the thought of Ric injured hiking out that far and just coming up short is pretty shitty.  He even had beer!

On a happier note, Brianna and I did something today that we could not have done if other people were on the trail with us… We hike an 18 mile day!  It was only supposed to be a 12 miler but we saw storms rolling in and were only 5.5 miles away from the car, so why not push it?

A lot happened over our 18 miles, as you can well imagine.  We ran into a group of six hiker/campers within the first couple miles and they offered us pancakes and Canadian bacon!  We declined, not sure how, but we did.  It had nothing to do with having a long day in front of us, we didn’t even know it would be an 18 mile day at the time.  It’s just hard to stop and go and stop and go so soon after starting the day.

An amazing part of the day was when we came upon a parking lot with a trash can.  We had accumulated four days worth of trash and it starts to take up a lot of volume.  The parking lot was also filled with sun, giving us the opportunity to dry our wet clothes out and enjoy a long hour of lunch.  We took a river bath yesterday after reaching camp and did laundry.  Our campsite had no wind and no sun so nothing really dried out over night.  One fun lesson I learned today is that if you have wet clothes and no sun, body heat dries the clothes you’re wearing way faster than hanging them off your pack.

Twilight had fully set in by the time we arrived to our car.  The blue blazes marking the trail were increasingly difficult to find, I’m lucky to have ol’eagle eyes with me.  Brianna’s knee held up really well through the long miles but my blisters started to pop at the end, crisis averted, but now I’ve got the hiker hobble and she looks normal.  

The sweetheart Shauna is, she left us a hand written note letting us know they got a hotel room 6 miles north and we could drop in for a shower in the morning.  Little did she know… She also left us KitKat bars!  Chocolate is not a convenient long distance hiking snack, the girl knows what we like :-).  It didn’t take us long to find the hotel per her instructions (no cell signal) but we did not get a chance to surprise them like we had hoped.  Ric and Shauna had been tracking us via the Garmin website and were waiting outside the hotel with beer and smiles.

I felt a little bad going in to grab a room, smelling as God awful was I did, but the lady at the front desk said her mask, “makes it so I can’t smell shit.”  Thanks, COVID?  We were able to get a room and an evening of tomfoolery commenced.  This hotel/motel thing is straight out of the 1970s, a motel/bar/restaurant/bowling alley/arcade/laundry combo.  That’s right, we took showers and cleaned clothes.  Not sure how much I cared for sleeping in a bed, and the room smelled like strawberry urine, but complaining at this point would just be silly.