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Day 7: In the Postal Service We Trust

Day 7: In the Postal Service We Trust

hiker.dykes Apr 29th, 2024
hiker.dykes's 2024 PCT Thru-Hike

Tentsite (109.3) - Tentsite (124.9) | Mileage: 15.6 + 2.0 (To the post office and back)

In the desert, there are these huge shiny black bugs that Mick calls California Suicide Beetles because they walk out across the trail in front of you on these tall-ass spindle legs that seem to only move in slow motion. They don’t have much of a personality besides being sloth-like, but they’re so large and so slow and so prominent against the sand that they’re generally very easy to avoid. Usually it goes something along the lines of:

Katie: (In front) Watch out for that guy! Me: (Behind, now looking around for some invisible tall man who I must somehow blocking) What? Me: (Noticing the ambling beetle) Oh. Him.

But today on the trail just past the camp and the hippy looking guy lounging under a bush smoking, one of the beetles had been crushed under someone’s boot or pole, split down the middle like a fortune cookie. I kind of wondered what would happen if one actually got stepped on because of all that invertebrate armor, but I didn’t actually want to find out. It was really sad. RIP the California Suicide Beetle.

We didn’t start hiking until almost noon today because we had to pick up our separate sleeping quilts (woohoo nighttime luxury) and our resupply from the Warner Springs post office. Despite being priority mail and decorated with adorable polar bear stickers, the box detoured to Phoenix and was five days late, so we were super lucky it arrived this morning. Really thought we’d have to bounce it to Idyllwild and load up on JIF and chicken flavored ramen and snacks from the gas station instead. Unfortunately, our packs are not so small now that we have two voluminous 20 degree quilts (and way too much food oops) instead of one 45 degree sleeping bag, but I’m super excited to stay warmer and sleep through the night. Turns out regularly waking up to cold drafts and sore hips gives you a lot of weird stress dreams.

We ordered four burritos from the burrito lady yesterday hedging that our resupply wouldn’t arrive, so that’s pretty much all we ate today. Had the first round with Oreo before packing up our tent (learned he’s from SLC and started scuba diving since moving to SD and has a masters in math from Michigan and works in software now) and then one under a tree in the fluffy meadow just outside town while Katie popped the blister under my right pinkie toe and then the last one for an early dinner on the top of the ridge overlooking all of the surrounding peaks. I really really love burritos.

Hiking was hot and hard today. It’s always tough to get out so late and there was a lot more elevation gain and more uneven footing and less shade than there has been. I pulled out music for the first time which really helped for a while until everything I had downloaded (mostly FLETCHER) started to repeat and make me nostalgic and depressed. Also the right earbud of the pair we brought is about 20% as loud as the left, so I’m probably going to blow out my left eardrum or go crazy by the time we make it to the Sierra. So sick.

It finally cooled down around 4 and I started to walk better and stop for water less frequently. Plus the green hills with the orange rocky outcroppings and the perfectly smooth gray boulders were absolutely stunning in the setting sun. We camped at the last tentsite before Mike’s Place (the backyard of a trail angel that has picnic tables and water?) with Julia, a cool 28 year old German with short blond hair. She sat with us and chatted while we watched the sun set and I munched a Range bar and wasabi peas. It’s so quiet and still up here and the stars are so clear and I’m really glad we didn’t follow everyone else down to Mike’s. Sometimes it’s kinda hard to remember we’re here to slow down and be outside and appreciate how beautiful this planet is, not to just keep racing to impress and chase meaningless goals.

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Next: Apr 30th, 2024

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