Day 137: Animals Everywhere

August 29, 2017: Hiked Miles 2292.4 to 2312.1 (19.7 total)

I couldn’t fall asleep for forever last night. The last time I checked the time it was 12:30. Not enough hiking. Or too much stimulus. Who knows. But I woke up at 6:30 wide awake. We crawled out of the tent awakened to a cool, smokey morning. We were walking over to the bathroom when I looked up and standing right in our campground, munching away on the grass was a big bull elk. I whispered at Colton to come back as he was just about to go into the bathroom, but I didn’t need to worry. The elk could have cared less about us. We were amazed, but he just wandered around the place, eating what he wanted, acting like he owned the place. 

After we pulled ourselves away from elk viewing, we packed up and couldn’t believe how heavy our food bags had somehow become. I never understand how they get as heavy as they do. We packed up our old shoes and a few other things we don’t need anymore into the box our new shoes came in and walked down to the post office to send them home. Of course the post office wasn’t open yet and neither was the only restaurant that serves breakfast in town. Gotta love small towns. So we walked down to the library to sit outside and use the free WiFi to download some more audiobooks. And noticed this sweet sculpture in the works.

Once the post office and restaurant opened at 8:00, we shipped off our shoes and headed to the restaurant to feed our starving bellies. 8:00 is way late for breakfast time for us. Usually we’re already hiking by then. It was nice to finally eat some real breakfast food, but of course it didn’t come close to filling us up. 

But probably better not to stuff ourselves before the windy drive back up the hill. 

After breakfast we sat around on the highway for a while before getting picked up by a nice couple of men with one of their granddaughters and their dog who took us back up to the trailhead. It turns out the men are both part of the PCTA and Backcountry Horsemen, and volunteer every year to help do work with their horses on the PCT. It was so neat to hear about all their stories from years on the trail and be able to spend some time talking to people who help us do what we’re doing out here. We were crammed into their truck like sardines and my feet and legs were asleep within seconds, but I did get to play with the cute dog the whole time. 

And by play I mean let him lick my face and walk all over me. 

They dropped us off at the trail, my feet came back to life, and we started on our way again. With our brand new comfy shoes.

Happy feet=happy hiker.

It was already almost 11:00 by the time we started hiking. The morning was pretty and relatively flat. We spent most of our time in the trees, but passed by a ton of pretty little lakes. 

And even saw some horses along the way. 

We stopped by an icy cold creek for lunch and it felt great to dunk my hot feet in. 

For lunch I invented a new kind of tortilla wrap:

Peanut butter, funfetti frosting, caramel sauce, and mini Oreos, all courtesy of Jamie’s care package. I know, it looks weird. But it was amazing. 

After lunch we passed through some pretty fields. 

And some thick green forests. 

And then climbed up a long hill, up out of the valley. 

We don’t have all the awesome views we normally would because of the smoke from the fires, but I think it adds a cool feel to the scenery, especially when we end up all alone for long stretches like we did this afternoon. 

We stopped for the night at a little tentsite right off the trail and Colton ran down to the lake to get water and I started my blog and stayed watch to make sure all the crazy chipmunks didn’t eat all our food. I don’t carry that heavy pack around all day just to bring them dinner. 

We ate dinner as it was getting dark. Hopefully that will cut down a little on the weight of our packs. Now it’s dark and we’re cozy in our tent and I think we’re both pretty tired and will be falling asleep early tonight. 

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