We take our time waking up. I didn’t make a warm dinner last night so I decide to make this polenta dinner. It’s literally just instant polenta with an instant pesto packet. I chop up some of my nice block of Parmesan. I’m sitting there and I catch a whiff of burn. It’s disgusting. I sacrifice a packet of tuna, olives, and the last of my Ruffles to try and make it taste better. It doesn’t. I have to put it back in its ziploc to pack it out.
I leave Tommy/Twerk and Karma and Colleen behind and walk the 3 miles to the Sunrise Trailhead and the water trough there. The faucet is running luckily so I don’t have to dip from the circular, corrugated metal tub of green water. I filter and then sit with Twerk and Karma and Colleen in the shade of the water tank. Roadshow stops and talks with us, and Jesus leaves, and Nirvana and Rachel text to say they’re two miles away. (Jesus is not a trail name obviously). I’m offered the trail name of Polenta. I say nope.
As we’re heading out, I get a soda from Tom from Kennedy Meadows, who is setting up burger trail magic. I leave my polenta in the trash can, say hi to Nirvana and Rachel as they come up, help Karma build a message in rocks pointing to the trail magic, and trudge up the trail to our camp in 4 ish miles. I stop for an hour or so to sit under a tarp with Bridgett and Alex, who have just been dubbed Sprite and Soulshine by Roadshow. Then off down a steep descent into a canyon. My feet are definitely feeling the last few days, and are tired and not as new as they were. No blisters, though.
I explode my pack at camp and hang out with what is now my trail family- Twerk, Colleen, Karma, and Rachel and Nirvana. Alpo has left us- all of the AT hikers are super fast. Farkle and Kathleen are either with him or behind us. Karma and Twerk leave to scout out some water down a road, and come back with plenty. Everyone else walks down together to fill up for our hike into Julian tomorrow. We talk about religion and existentialism and other deep things. We find out that all of 4 of us have been homeschooled and 3 of us have been in a Montessori school. I’m offered the name Water Report because I’ve been sending out text water reports to Halfmile. Again I say no.
We all make dinner and I offer everyone use of my condiments ziploc. Then it’s sunset and we have our stretch and dance circle to music. Everywhere is purple and pink. “Nature!” we say. “Nature sucks! I’d rather be in jail!”
I settle into my cowboy camp. Another horrible day on the PCT.