Hooray for Hiker Heaven
Weather: Quite pleasant
I was surprised to sleep pretty good through the night. Other times when there are a bunch of us close together, I’ve struggled, but things were pretty quiet. An early morning was inevitable with hikers getting up to get on trail. The chickens/roosters were doing some work to get us up too!
Once up, I got some water to try and stay hydrated and then began uploading some of my daily posts on the bench that overlooks the sea of tents. I said goodbye to some who were getting on trail, and those of us sticking around for the day made a plan to take the first shuttle (truck ride) into town at 8:30am.
There was around 15-20 hikers that went into town for breakfast and most, myself included, went to the Home Made Restaurant. I really enjoyed this little place. Our waiter was so on top of it and the food was incredible.
In the latst two days, I’ve had two different hikers say that I look like I’ve lost weight, and indeed I have. There was a scale out at Hiker Heaven and if accurate I’ve lost approx. 13 pounds from the start of the trail. Yikes. Not cool. So, my goal for today was to get as much food in me as possible without getting sick.
I didn’t know exactly what my plans were, if I’d get on trail or not today. At breakfast though, Calzone, Carol, and Songbird said they planned to get an Uber and visit REI in Burbank. I was still not confident in my stove despite it’s miraculous turnaround, so I thought I’d go with and check out what they had. Plus it sounded fun. So after breakfast, we lounged for a bit outside waiting for our driver to show.
It was only about fifteen minutes later that he showed up. Jose was our driver and he was great. He was interested in learning all about the trail and seemed content just to hear about the odd things thru-hikers do on a daily basis. We did hit a little traffic, so it might’ve been 45 minutes to an hour, but it went quick. Jose even gave us a little tour (after closing out our trip) of where different restaurants and stores were in the area. And he said to just call when we wanted to head back.
Welcome to REI!
I saw some things I might need, but didn’t buy anything except a few food items. I figured I’d wait on a stove to see how mine performs this next stretch. If unreliable, then I’d order one online before the Sierra’s. Same with the other things, I planned to order online and ship ahead to Kennedy Meadows.
After REI, we walked to Walmart and got some resupply. I didn’t need much, but got a few things to supplement what came in my shipment and for breakfast tomorrow morning.
Next up was lunch. Songbird got really excited when Jose drove by a sushi place and we all agreed it sounded good. Well for me, it sounded fun I guess because I’ve never had sushi! They coached me through some safer options to try. I was hungry and a bit worried that little balls of rice and fish weren’t going to fill me up, so I ordered a California Roll and a Shrimp Tempura Roll!
Everyone but Songbird overestimated the food we could eat, me probably the most. I think I did about half of that spread. I also tried a salmon roll of sorts that Calzone got. I did enjoy it. I thought it was quite tasty, but don’t know if I’ll ever be one to get super excited for or crave sushi. We’ll see.
I did get a box to go. The idea kind of grossed me out, but it would’ve been so much food to waste. Anyway, afterwards Carol called Jose to bring us back. While waiting she and I went over to Jamba Juice. I got a strawberry pineapple banana smoothie. Delicioso.
We had another nice ride back to Agua Dulce. We even got dropped off directly at the Hiker Heaven door. Jose wished us luck and we parted ways. Once back, it looked as though twice as many tenters had come than the night before. Our friends Snickers 3 Bean, and Foxtail all showed up amongst them.
I spent a while just relaxing and uploading posts. And had to take care of some real life stuff (setting up automatic bill payments and such). I didn’t feel the need to go into town for dinner when the shuttle time came around, being full still from lunch.
I did end up making some Mac and cheese with spam for dinner. I also shared some of Dave H’s dehydrated dinners with Lamb Chop and Adam who were digging through the hiker box for whatever they could find.
I’m not sure why, but the power at the place was out for the day. We were warned about it last night actually, so it must have been planned. But, it was supposed to be back on at 5pm and the crew was still working on it around 7:30ish. Here is everyone gathered (as requested by our host) to cheer and say thanks when it came back on.
I would guess there were between 60-70 hikers staying with them this night. I at least counted 50+ tents at one point and that doesn’t include those sleeping in those igloo-like tents or inside the trailer campers.
It was pretty nuts. I took a few more photos around their place throughout the day.
I ended this relaxing and restful day sitting in a folding chair with a Dr. Pepper around our propane gas fire. I’m excited to get back hiking again tomorrow!
Side Note: I found Marguerite, the hiker who had hurt her ankle, at Hiker Heaven. She’d been there a few days and was feeling better. Yesterday, on 5/13 she started on the trail again and is now going as “Hop Along!”
The Poodle-Dog Bush rash has been annonying as ever. I’m fighting it with all I’ve got.