Miles walked today: 13.6
Camped: n/a. In town at Julian Lodge in Julian CA with Hemlock, Susan, and Farwalker
On the AT my first Sunday morning featured a gorgeous glowing golden morning wood in the Blood Mountain Wilderness, on the PCT just over a year later a glowing ridgewalk. Both had birdsong, breeze (though significantly more on the PCT!) and me. Ahh, bliss! After our first break I was feeling antisocial and so walked ahead of Hemlock and Susan, and it was wonderful knowing they would understand my need for solitude and to have the mountain to myself for a while. They have been great hiking partners, but I did find myself missing my great stick buddy Blackhawk, who knew my moods so instinctually on the AT.
The hike today went from chaparral to low desert, and the contrast was as startling as it was abrupt – around a bend and up over a hill and there
we were! We ate an early lunch, already planning on second lunch in town (Julian) clinging to the side of the mountain in some rare shade, chatting with new friends – Farwalker, Jordi, and Sundrizzzle. The trail itself continues to be wonderful – nicely graded and comfy to the feet, though the heat underneath is still taking me time to get used to. I hope I have jinxed myself ;).
Trail magic abounded the rest of the day. All 6 of us made quite a site trying to hitch into Julian, a small town 12 miles from Scissors Crossing. However, we really didn’t have to wait long before a nice couple from San Diego pulled over in their truck and gave Hemlock, Susan, and I a ride with the other 3 catching a ride very soon after. The transition to Julian was a startling one – many weekend tourists gawking at us having no idea a national scenic trail was so near. The idea that we were walking to Canada was incomprehensible to most! Julian is a cute little town, though, and Mom’s Pies was wonderful – truly hiker friendly and comped us our entire orders! We had heard about the free piece of pie but I was blown away from that generosity. Julian Lodge has a nice hiker rate, and while they don’t officially have guest laundry, the head of housekeeping offered to do a load for us – so appreciated, especially considering the state of our clothes! I’ll keep everyone posted on my initial observations that hiker funk is different out here in the west – after 5 days I would usually have a slight gag putting on my shirt in the morning, which didn’t happen despite the fact I’m somewhat worried my shirt may be able to stand up by myself eventually. P
It’s always fun to run into other hikers in town – we seem to congregate at the same places instinctually. Coincidence abounds – I met one of the the Long Trail hikers I hiked near for quite a while last year, Marson, who is also doing the PCT this year. He recognized me first, so much fun. A great dinner filled with laughter, and silence when the food came, was a great way to end a golden day in the desert.