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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mile 68.4: We are social!

4/27/2010: 5th day hiking
15 miles in 5.5 hours actual hiking time.
Fun of the day: hiking with Alli

Carmen and I drew Hippie thank you cards like we were in first grade. Carmen included a woman holding a beer and a smokeable, mine was just an abstract combination of flowers, the moon, the sun, and the G3 pattern on my climbing skins stuffsack. Mine included, "We were going to hide some cash in your glovebox, but figured this would piss you off less." Sure enough, she refused cash when we offered, so we hid our notes for her to find later.

When we were ready to go, Hippie told us to help ourselves to anything in the cooler, and I was STARVING. I made myself a wrap with spinach, tomato, cucumber, chicken, turkey, bacon, cheddar, and ranch intended for lunch, but I immediately ate it and several chunks of chicken, bacon, and slices of turkey. Salty protein? I need it! I think my metabolism has finally adjusted to the increased load... after sending half my snacks and breakfast on to the next town.

Although 6:55 was a much later start than Carmen or I wanted, we got in a good deal of cool hiking, helped by the fact that the wind blew all day long. We ran into Andy and Alli, two mid-twenties nurses from Wisconsin, at the stream we stopped at for water five miles in. Andy suggested that Alli hike with us for the day and get some girl time. It was awesome! It's not that Carmen and I have run out of all topics of conversation, we're able to pratter on endlessly, but the possibilities were greatly expanded. I really like the couple, and I really hope this trip strengthens rather than weakens their bond.

We were able to see the snow capped mountains we'll be hiking through in a week, the San Jacintos I think, almost all day long as we dropped elevation (sometimes quite painfully). The views were amazing, all made surreal and magical looking from the smog/haze LA must be contributing, though invisible to us. By the end of the day, the winds were fiercely beating us. We hunkered down for the hottest part of the day under my footprint+rainfly "sunshade" after a brutal downhill.

At Rodriguez Spur Road, an outfitter in Julien (sp?) has set up a temporary hiker oasis in the middle of a 24 mile dry stretch. Ice cream was rumored, but potable water, solar showers, hot food, and tasty cold beverages were all a reality. Carmen and I are camped here for the night, with other thru-hikers: it's like we're being social! The three of us girls and some of the guys took showers. All of my leg tan washed away, and I looked at my body for the first time in over a week: I have bad chafe that I had never before noticed on my hips where my belt lies (this is a job for Bodyglide! Thanks Jeff) and my sunscreen/lack of showers is making me break out.

The expected storm seems to be moving in. I think all the wind has stirred up the pollen from all the wildflowers, the back of my throat is starting to itch. I'm hoping the storm drops some rain, scrubs the air, and breaks up our next dry stretch (30 miles) into smaller pieces. I tried drawing the alien-spaceship looking clouds for my stepfather the meteorologist. One of the excessively attractive scruffy hiker men came and sat down next to me, asking to see, and ended up talking with me until after night fell. Crossing fingers that the lesbian aura is wearing off!!!

- Typoed on my iPhone

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