Mile 259 - hwy 18 - Doble Cmp
In the morning we leave before P-Track wakes up and I run over and say goodbye feeling guilty at rushing off, but fairly certain he doesn't mind. We talked yesterday about how people move in and out of hiker's lives. I hope I'll see him again, though. He was really fun.
We hike down to the highway in just a few hours, greeted by roadside soada courtesy of motel-6 and an almost instant hitch (both making for a great start to the morning). We stop in Big Bear City to peek at the hostel's free hiker box (it's pretty barren) and then get another hitch into Big Bear Lake, a few miles further down. The day is another stretch of time eaten up by errands and agonizing over groceries and hours spent online emailing and journalling. The cousins of course efficiently finish much sooner and wait for Maya and I to finish. We feel guilty, but re-supplying is hard - so many decisions over what to pack, what we will want to eat, how much, if it will last. We both buy too much and our packs are heavy. 3 of us now sport matching knee braces newly purchased. I don't have high hopes that this will solve anything.
I learn that nobody seems inclined to zero at the hot springs that are 30 miles down the trail, except me. I feel a bit disheartened. I don't like rushing, and I am beginning to feel rushed. I still am having trouble accepting the fact that my body can't do the mileage teh cousins are doing. I find it interesting that 3 of us are having knee issues, yet I am the only one who thinks rest is necessary. And I don't consider a 15 mile day rest. I'm beginning to feel a lot of guilt and pressure, all self-imposed.
We hitch out on a tricky stretch of busy road and luck out with our hitch. As we get out, I am pre-occupied with teasing Maya/Focus about how she leaves behind and get this - I accidentally leave my second most expensive piece of gear in the trunk of the car I hitched in. My gossamer gear trekking poles are now speeding away in the car of a man I only know the first name of. I am screwed. I feel angry and frustrated and before I can help myself I swear. I tell everyone else to leave and not wait for me, in spite of the fact that we have a delicious group dinner planned. They walk off.
Finally, after being consoled by a stranger who was waiting by the road for his wife (he offered me cookies) I post a sign with my contact info and hike on. It takes two miles to really fully calm down.
I apologize to everyone but nobody minds my outburst, which was fully aimed at myself, although also full of frustrations with the difficulties as travelling as a group. We decide to hike two more days together, to the Hot Springs, at my pace but in the middle of the night I decide it is best if I turn around and hike the 2 miles back to the road and spend the night in town by myself. I feel sad but think it is best. I need rest.