Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 164- A Great Day Up On Saddleback

Nuke flip-flopped and is now heading South, he also has been doing a work for stay at the hostel for quite a few days now. Oh and he is the fourth bed in our private room, he got up at 5:00 this morning. I heard rustling and opened my eyes to a pitch black room, please just 10 more minutes! He got up and went downstairs. Around 6:30 Ravioli and Lynn started making noise and I thought, please just 10 more minutes! They went downstairs and I took my time getting up, knowing we had to leave by 8:00 for our slack pack. I went downstairs and found breakfast being made. I had 2 fried eggs, one piece of French toast, regular toast, pumpkin bread, and orange juice. We gathered all of our things, and while waiting for the shuttle we found Poncho in his hotel slippers coming over for coffee. Engineer, Puzzle, Ravioli, Lynn, and I jumped in the pickup for our hour drive to the drop off spot. The guys got in the bed with blankets and we sat up front. The owner of the Hiker Hut hostel brought us and we found out he spends 6 months in India. Seems he went there to practice yoga and meditation, got a job in a computer store, and then started helping children with large exterior tumors. He also told us how he used to be into triathlons and is now burnt out from competing. It was really interesting talking with him and I hope we get to at least check out his hostel. We drove on a long, dirt road and finally we saw Miss Janet's van at a dead end. We all jumped out and walked the 1.5 miles further up the blocked off dirt road to the trailhead. The walk today would be over the Saddlebacks which were said to be quite difficult. I started the day off right by Christening my brand new left shoe in some muddy water. My shoe was soaked, my sock was soaked, my foot was soaked. I walked on. The beginning half I was walking alone; the guys were ahead, and Lynn was behind. It was a few miles of flat root and rock woods walk with some gradual up. When I started the initial climb I saw the guys stopped about halfway up having a break. I sat and ate a snack and Ravioli gave me some Gatorade powder for my water. Puzzle left a little before Ravioli and I but we were all relatively close together. Before I knew it, we were at the first summit of three today; Saddleback Junior. I couldn't believe we were already there, slackpacking is glorious. We sat for another snack and then took off for the next in line, The Horn. It was a gorgeous day and I loved being above tree line. I looked around in wonder and couldn't believe how beautiful it was. We hiked down a little and then up The Horn and Ravioli, Puzzle, and I stayed in formation. I was feeling great today after a good night rest at the Farmhouse the night before. We got to the summit of the Horn and I decided on lunch. Not even 10 minutes later Lynn showed up and we all enjoyed the 360 view. We could see our ridge walk up to the summit of Saddleback and knew it was going to be a piece of cake. We all walked together single file and were in awe as we climbed up. The lakes were gorgeous, the mountains were gorgeous, the weather was gorgeous. It has been so nice slacking South since we have been running into Northbounders ahead of us on trail. Luckily the hike down was just as nice as the day so far. I did however look down and realize I had lost my gloves! During slackpacking I have had them clipped on my jacket zipper, seems they had fallen off! We stopped at one of the shelters that was under 2 miles away from the road, and found some old friends. Mailman and No Rush were there and Puzzle was excited to see them. We sat for a little and they ate ham sandwiches, we decided to push on to try and get to the outfitter before they closed. I now needed new gloves, Ravioli needed a hat, and Lynn needed a headlamp. The walk to the road was very easy which was nice, Ravioli and I got there a little before 6:00. I saw Miss Janet's van in the parking lot so I asked if she would mind driving us to the outfitter. When we got there, we read they closed at 5:00...damn. We asked her to drop us off at IGA so we could get dinner supplies. I have had a sore throat the last couple days and my nose has been congested. The weather has changed so fast that I guess it was kind of inevitable. I was thirsty after running out of Gatorade, so I grabbed a Green smoothie to drink while I shopped. Trying to get all the fruits, vegetables, and vitamins I can! We decided on tacos so we got ingredients to make them, a $4 bottle of wine, and some other things here and there. I of course grabbed the Chi Chi salsa to pose with! We checked out, each paying $8.75 for dinner, and waited for our shuttle to pick us up. Back at the house I jumped in the shower and Lynn got started on the taco meat. When I came down, I was advised Yeti and the guys were here. Seems they were in Stratton trail miles, but came back here to spend the night. We carried on finishing up making dinner and then sat to eat. Tacos, guacamole, chips, wine, all so good. Seems the guys went bowling so I didn't end up seeing them. After dinner I went upstairs to blog and get ready for bed, I finally saw a text come in from Yeti. Seems he got my text from the other day and responded back. I asked if we could talk, he met me outside since there were people everywhere at the hostel. We sat outside freezing our butts off for 2 hours talking. There was a lot of going around in circles and not much resolution but the night had to come to an end. I was in bed just before midnight and was glad to be in a warm bed!

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