Day 13 | mile 205.7 - 227.2

Woke up at 5:30. Pretty much all of us slept half way out of sleeping bags. It was hot. Oatmeal for breakfast. Hiking by 6.

Chatted with mom, then Alex.

Walked under noisy power lines. Why did they make that buzzing sound? I felt like Chuck McGill from Better Call Saul

It wasn’t much of a trail. Just PCT posts in the desert and you kind of make your own way in the sand.

We’ve been seeing the I-10 since the San Jacinto summit the day before. Yesterday we were on never ending switchbacks, and the I-10 just never seemed to get any closer. Finally, at 7, I made it to under the freeway.

There were a bunch of sodas, water, bananas, an orange, and pies. And most importantly (for period week) - trash!!!! I had an orange and a day old hot dog. No regrets.

Also saw 3 of those mile-long trains pass by while we were under the interstate. So fun!

Got back on the trail to crank out 8 miles to whitewater reserve. It was already hot.

Had some reception and called Sumeet. Caught up on what happened at remind since I left. It was fun to hear some drama.
Feet started to get sweaty and rub on an uphill. So, I walked backwards. It was slow, but it worked! Still 0 blisters.
It was really hot and I was mostly racing to get to a flushing toilet at the Whitewater Reserve. Finally made it at 12.

There was a group of seniors with caretakers setting up for lunch in the shade. And a bunch of thru hikers on the other end of the shade. I bee-lined for the seniors.
Turns out most of them are in memory care. I bonded with Nancy right away. Her only questions for me were “what’s your name? How long have I known you? Am I going to see you tomorrow?” I must’ve answered 20 times. My answer to “how long have I known you” started at 5 minutes, and ended at 2 hours. I asked her a million questions. Some she didn’t know the answer to, “where do you live?” Some she fired a quick response to, “cats or dogs?” “I prefer dogs.”
Here’s what I gathered about Nancy. She was born and raised in Illinois. Has a mommy, a daddy, a brother - Steven, and a sister - Deborah. Deborah is a mommy to 3 boys: Johnny, Jimmy, and Luke. She says they’re not religious. Nancy went to college at UCLA. She loved college and lived in the Dijkstra dorm, but doesn’t remember what her major was. She worked for a bank. She owned a single-story house. The kitchen had a gas stove. Her favorite thing to cook was lasagna. She likes eggs fried or hard boiled. Nancy had 3 dogs: a Saint Bernard, a golden retriever, and a mutt. She misses them. The caretaker told me she has had amnesia after a car accident.
When it was time for them to leave, I was disproportionately sad. I know she won’t remember me, but somehow she had a profound effect on me even after just 2 hours.
The caretaker gave me a hug and asked me to send them postcards from the trip. She also hooked me up with a sandwich, cookies, chips, and a Le Croix.
I did laundry in the bathroom. Good thing, because washing the shorts was like a murder scene. I wore my black wind gear in suffocating heat while my stuff was drying.

Finally, at 5:30 I got up to do the last 8 miles. Easy miles. Whitewater River was beautiful and peaceful at sunset. I’d love to come back.

Passed 2 guys who warned me about a rattler. I cautiously made it past the rattle sound without incident.
I got to videochat with Alex once I got up on a ridge which was awesome.
Finished “The Girls”. It was good!
Mashed potatoes with the last cheese stick for dinner. Real cheese is so good! While I was brushing my teeth, the other 3 girls rolled in and we all cowboyed together. I watched Annah eat a snickers bar in her sleeping bag before passing out. The girl has never had a cavity and the world is not fair. :)
I’m going to try to write most of these entries during the day from now on. It’s really hard to write when you’re passing out every few sentences.


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