Day 23 | mile 454.5 - 478.2

There was a cacophony of people snoring in Hiker Heaven. It was like dueling pianos. Person to my right was snoring consistently, to my left was a person with sleep apnea.

Woke up at 5:30. It was warm, so I got out. Wearing a red-orange loan dress while my laundry was being done.

I wanted to charge my InReach before leaving. The micro-USB cable was being used by the battery pack. I got into the hiker house (everyone was snoring in there too), quietly got the battery pack, and went to the tech/laundry tent.

I set stuff up to charge there and got breakfast. I was going to boil water for oatmeal on my stove, but then I realized I can use electricity! Yay! Made a pot of coffee and oatmeal. Back to the tech tent to write in the journal.

At 6:30 they announced the next shuttle is in 30 minutes. I started hustling to get my stuff in order. Quickly realized my sleeping bag is still soaked. The sun was just coming out and it hadn’t dried yet. Talked to Radar and we decided to leave on the next shuttle.

We had 1.5 hours, so I just chilled on my mat and did absolutely nothing. Just laying there and breathing.

Before I knew it, the next shuttle was leaving in 15. GO TIME. One last trip to a flushing bathroom. One last use of hairbrush. One more minute of charging. One last fill up of potable water.

Last thing to go into my bag was the stuff that was charging. Uh oh. No battery pack. Somebody took my battery pack. I raced through the entire campus looking for it and asking people. Nothing. Numbers (the volunteer at Hiker Heaven) was trying to get me to stay another day. No way. I was leaving. Battery pack or not.

I jumped up into the truck at the last moment and we were off. I told Radar I didn’t have my battery pack. He has this calm demeanor that was contagious. Once we got to the trail, he asked if I wanted to sit and have breakfast. Yep. I got a breakfast sandwich. He got biscuits and gravy.

I let the battery pack freakout wash over me and told Alex. He’d know what to do. In the meantime, I would leave my phone in airplane mode.

Finally started hiking at 11. The trail is on the road for 3 miles, so I put my poles in my pack. It was already hot.

There were signs for HDR on a bunch of poles and I tried to figure out what that stood for. Finally we ran into this group of trail runners and they said “we’re high desert runners” So, that’s what HDR stood for. They let us eat their food. I had a tomato, a cinnamon roll, and a couple of pieces of melon.

The runners told us the PCT goes over this far away ridge. So, we could see where we were heading. It was a kind of steep 5-ish mile exposed climb. I drank most of my water. The next water was just over the ridge. Saw a cool beige/orange snake.

We saw a passenger plane that was missing wings in the middle of this field. Weird! (Later, I saw on the map it was called Agua Dulce Movie Ranch!)

Got to the water source after 1. It was swarming with bees. We sat and chatted with this dad and son duo - Logan and Gary. I was kind of ready to move on, so I went down to my pack to get ready and strap my pizza to the top of pack to warm it up.

I heard a noise and looked up. WHAT THE FUCK. It’s Alex. WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT. I didn’t know what to say. We hugged. I introduced Alex to everyone.

Wow. I was just in utter shock. And the whole plan to hike to Hiker Town in 2 days was out the window. I wanted to be with Alex the whole time. He said he parked on the road about 2 miles down. So, we figured we’d start hiking down and figure out what to do next. Radar stayed back at the water source because his foot was bothering him.

We made this whole plan to get to the road that leads to Casa de Luna, then uber back to the car. Alex spotted a horned lizard! We took some pictures.

Finally made it back to the car where Alex said he parked his car. He said there was trail magic there when he left, but they were packing up. They were still there when we got there. And guess who else was. LENA! WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT. Again. I got punked again.

Turns out, they had driven down together. Lena was making Swedish pancakes for hikers. Somebody pinch me. I couldn’t believe it.

I had a cheeseburger and 2 swedish pancakes with all the fixings (strawberries, bananas, whipped cream), watermelon.

Radar really needed new shoes, so Lena agreed to drive him to REI while Alex and I slack-packed to mile 478.2.

Hiking with Alex was amazing. We caught up on all the things. So nice to not keep going “what?” “I didn’t catch that last part” “you’re breaking up” “lalalalalala” “are you there?” AGH! I’m miss him so much.

Alex got a blister between his toes.

A Lena popped out of nowhere 1.5 miles from the road. I actually shrieked. Back at the car at 7:30. Gave this guy Max (Baywatch) a ride to Casa de Luna and drove to the hotel in Palmdale.

John got us a hotel room at the the Holiday Inn. Holy shit. The not-time-limited shower was amazing. Alex basically brought the contents of the entire bathroom cabinet for me. Even eucalyptus oil drops to put in the shower. Whoa.

Alex also brought me some comfy clothes from home. I put on my sweatpants and favorite shirt. Fuckkk. Can I just go home??

Chick-fil-a at 9:30. Lena got a 1 strip kids meal with applesauce. Alex and I got chicken sandwiches with extra chick-fil-a sauce. I ate SO much.

I was dead tired after this crazy day. This bed was giant and very comfortable. And obviously, being in Alex’s arms was the best part. Don’t know how I’m going to say goodbye to this tomorrow.


  1. Мы с мамой плакали! :-) Кингам следовало захватить маму с собой! Она бы с удовольствием поехала. :-(


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