Day 64 | mile 1249.8 - 1267.9 | 18.1 miles to Quincy
Woke up at 5. I slept surprisingly well. Water rushing in the river drowned out any twig snapping sounds. Maybe I should get earplugs?
Went through the pictures I took yesterday. Boiling water at 5:30. 3 oatmeal packets, raisin snail. That’s the last of my food except for 2 bars and some sour skittles to get me to Quincy.
Oh! I got a lighter in a hiker box in Sierra City! It’s perfect. It’s exactly what I wanted: mini bic, baby blue. It’s like somebody knew this would make me really really happy. Makes lighting the stove so easy! I should’ve bought one a long time ago. The trail provides?
Moving at 6:20-ish. The first 11 miles are uphill today. A lot of thru-hiker-looking people going southbound today. I wonder if some people flipped? I don’t think any true SOBO hikers have made it this far. Saw a Flyers fan!
Met Jackie. I was surprised (and delighted) to meet another person without a trail name this far on the trail. Turns out she just started in Truckee! Womp.
Listening to The Goal. It’s really good! The jazz music between chapters makes me smile, the story is really engaging, and the Israeli accent of one of the characters is adorable. Thanks for the recommendation, Vova!
Got to the road at 1. I was rationing my sour skittles. After 20 minutes or so, 8 cars passed in the opposite direction (toward Buck’s Lake), and only 1 in mine. Finally, an older woman in a truck stopped for me. Yay! (I forgot to ask her name!) She has a cabin at Buck’s Lake and was going to Quincy to get groceries. We chatted about the PCT and the book she read recently about it. She said she would leave the book for me in the Free Maps box at the trailhead. How sweet is this lady? She dropped me off at Safeway.
I was expecting the hitch to take forever (if it happens at all), so I didn’t linger at Safeway too long. Got a bunch of fruit, a yogurt, a breakfast sandwich, and a corn dog. Ate at the bus stop near Safeway.
A guy in a Roundtable Pizza shirt joined me - Jeremy. We chatted about Quincy. He was born and raised there and misses his high school teachers. His dream is to work at the high school. Out of politeness, I offered him my fruit selection. To my astonishment, he was like, “Oh sure! I’ll have the peach.” He took 4 bites and threw it away. Gasp. Thankfully, he threw it in my paper bag and ate the rest.
The hitch was interesting! I got picked up by a mom and two kids (Ember and Cairo) within 10 minutes. She offered to “take me over the hill”. I didn’t really know what that meant, but I got in anyway. Turns out it was just outside of town. Hmm. Does that even help me? Now I’m neither here nor there. Oh well.
I stuck my thumb out again and within another 10 minutes, a man with fishing gear in the back of his old Subaru pulled over - John. He said he’d drive me Graeagle. I had no idea where that was either, but he assured me it was right on the way on Truckee. We talked about hunting, house siding, his family, he pointed out all the landmarks we were passing.
Turns out Graeagle is 38 miles from Truckee. I was making good progress! I went to the general store to get an ice cream. $2.50 for Haagen Dazs bar. Not bad. 5 minutes after finishing that, I got a ride all the way to Truckee. This couple (Marcellus and Annika) stopped to go to the store, but asked me where I was going. They were going to Reno, but decided to take a detour to drop me off. Yay! I couldn’t believe my luck.
I went to Safeway again. Beelined for the bathroom, washed my hands and face finally. Called Alex, he was just leaving SF so he wouldn’t get in for 4-5 hours. Brent and Garrett would be here first, so I texted Brent to see if they can pick me up. Saw Mermaid and Janky. We walked over to McDonald’s for free WiFi. While I was trying to figure out how to scam McDonald’s out of free fries, Brent and Garrett showed up.
We drove to the store first, then the cabin near Squaw. I couldn’t believe that I walked all this way in just a few days. It really doesn’t seem possible. Took a long shower, bath, then another shower to wash all the dirt off my legs. Started laundry and just wore a towel and my rain jacket. That works surprisingly well! Alex came at 10.
I fell asleep. Then woke up just before Ryan and Elle came for the big surprise. (This is a surprise birthday party.) There are a lot of Snow Club people and they go hard. They greeted Ryan by mooning him. :) The rest of the night is kind of a blur. I went to sleep at 2.