Day 28- May 31st
After a day of relaxation and swimming in the pool, we hiked 10 miles to Agua Dulce. The first thing on my mind was brunch! I’ve become obsessed with getting breakfast while in town. I could care less about a pizza or burger, but more about eggs and toast.
Once in town, we went straight to Sweetwater Grill. They were slammed with hikers and our packs lined the grassy space out front. The food was really good and met my “Gourmet” expectations.
Later, I went to Hiker Heaven, a trail angel’s house, and hung out with all the other hikers. Since I stayed the night and took care of chores at the KOA, I was not planning on staying the night here.
Flame, Protein, Sonya and I decided to night hike out of town about 4 miles. This was my first night hike and it made the miles fly by.
We slept in and took our time breaking camp. Another morning of enjoying coffee and a little breakfast. I hiked with Sonya and Protein most of the day, as I hadn’t hiked with them for a few days.
The section after Wrightwood has trail angels everywhere and today was no different. My goal for the day was to camp at Casa de Luna. There is a large manzanita forest behind the owner’s property that you could get lost in. It was a maze of trees and tents. I wish I had taken a picture before pitching my tent and the sun had set.
The Andersons, the trail angels of Casa de Luna, not only made dinner for everyone last night, but had coffee ready in the morning and pancakes on the griddle. I hung out for a few hours, visiting with Right, as I hadn’t seen him and Left in awhile.
I hitched to the trail and started my day. I felt great and flew through 7 miles in 2 hours. I hadn’t realized how fast I was going. Climbing does not seem to get easier, but maybe it’s because I’m pushing myself harder.
This was also a day of flies. There were so many I couldn’t stop. When I got water, I was covered with flies and gnats. Then the gnats would hover in front of my face as I hiked. These little insects dampened my day, but I was able to escape them when I made camp for the evening.
Many of the trail family camped at mile 498. Groups of us wanted to hit the official 500 marker together for pictures. The official marker is now at mile 501.8, as the trail has changed over the years.
After this, our next goal was to get to Hikertown, about 20 miles away from where we camped. It was going to be super hot today, so I hiked as quickly as I could. I arrived at 1pm and was sweltering.
Once in Hikertown, I went to the store to get some snacks. Then I took a nap next to a shed that provided some shade from the afternoon heat. We were planning on hiking some of the LA Aqueduct tonight when it was cooler. The aqueduct is a flat slab of concrete, is exposed to the elements and is one of the hotter sections of the trail.
At 7pm, a mass migration began. It was crazy being around so many new faces. My hiker bubble had caught up with other hiker bubbles. Originally, the plan was to hike 10ish miles and camp. However, we covered the 10 miles, took a break and felt good enough to continue on. The moon was so bright that none of us were using our headlamps. This was the first time that we could all hike together and converse as one large group.
Along the way, some people made camp. Flame, Dr. Giggles, Jupiter and I pushed on through the night. We made it to a bridge to camp under at 1am, after nearly 37 miles.
It was crazy doing so many miles in a single day. I also hadn’t stayed up that late since starting the trail. The last couple hours, we all fell silent, and I fell into a zombie-hiking mode. I focused on my posture and just moving forward. My brain was tired, but my body felt great walking over this easy terrain.
Overall, the night hike was very surreal and was one of my favorite moments on the trail so far.
After hiking all day yesterday, I slept under the bridge today. It was suppose to be in the 100s and the rest of the hike was on exposed ridges with little shade. I slept, ate, and rotated into shade with a mass of other hikers.
About 5pm, I hiked out about 10 miles and made camp. It was super windy on the ridge and Protein, Jupiter and I decided to cowboy camp.
I arrived before he did and got checked into the hotel. This was the first time I had seen myself in a full length mirror and I was a little shocked at the changes that have occurred.
My stomach is flatter, tan lines are stark against the white skin hidden under clothes, my skin looks more leathery, my thighs are shrinking and I’ve lost half of my boobs. Every scale I have jumped on prior this said I had lost 10 pounds. I was always in disbelief, “how could I possibly lose 10 pounds?!” After staring at myself for a long time, I’m thinking that the scales may have been correct.