mile 175? - Idyllwild - Saddle Junction.
After waking up early we pick our way through some snow banks without any problems and are on our way into town with just a handful of miles to go. We stop and talk to Keala and P-Track, who tented at the watersource a few miles ahead of us. Keala is in flipflops and I wonder how that will work out when she hits bigger areas of snow. She is from Hawaii and is freezing. I can sympathize. My poor abused 35 degree bag seems to be on its last legs, as is my jacket. I wouldn't call myself the warmest hiker out there right now either.
We rush down to Idyllwild and Bobcat charms a ride out of a travelling salesman who likes to do his paperwork in the parking lot of the park. The town is small, the bakery delicious, the people friendly, and there is a health food store and smoothies. I kind of wish I was staying, not rushing in to resupply and then heading back to the trail, but I also don't really feel a strong desire for a shower or bed. The Bobcat decides to slow down, rest her feet and stay in town. Focus and I arrange to meet the cousins back at Saddle Junction. We spend about 6 hours in town running errands: post office, grocery store, health food store, food for us, bakery, coffee shop, etc. It's ridiculous how easily time gets eaten up. We get a hitch out of town fairly easily but Focus's water filter falls out of her pack in the car and she realizes this as our ride drives away. She handles it pretty well and plans to order a new one tomorrow to be mailed ahead.
We meet the cousins and feast on kale, tomato, garlic, mozzarella salad with dressing from the natural food restaurant. It's amazing. Dessert is ginger snap cookies. (The appetizer was tortilla chips with butter - ha) We plan to nighthike for a bit after eating but not five minutes after shouldering our packs, I spy an incredible sunset and we veer straight towards it. We watch as the most beautiful sunset to date unfolds before us on our perch on a rocky cliff and then all sleep under the branching arms of a pine tree together, before waking to watch the sunrise from the opposite direction.
I am the luckiest girl in the world.