(Hiker Heaven) mile 455 – mile 471
My alarm went off around 4 and then again at 4:30. I got up and packed up my sleeping gear. I tried to be quiet and use my red light in the hiker hut kitchen. I didn’t want to be an asshole and wake up the people sleeping in the living room, but that coffee was coming with me.
The sky was just starting to lighten when I walked out the gate. No ride to the trailhead this time around. I stomped down the 3 miles back, definitely not thinking about how far I’d be if I hadn’t had to turn back the night before. At the trailhead, I paused for a break and that’s when Bumblebee caught up to me.
“I saw you leave this morning so I decided I wanted to come too.” We walked together for awhile and then she zoomed ahead. A few miles in, the path traveled through an area that had been on fire a week ago. The chapparel was charred but maybe not dead.
The sun beat down and shade grew scarce. I caught up to Bumblebee at the spring. It was a tiny leak of water splashing down onto the dust, to the delight of millions of bees. Bumblebee had popped up her tent to nap in the shade. I got busy with my filter, trying to move steadily and smoothly so as not to alarm the clouds of bees. Birds swooped through the buzz, gobbling beakfuls of bees. I looked down and saw a long snake at the foot of the water puddle. It didn’t mind that bees walked on its head as it drank from moist sand. I was too fascinated to be scared. Besides, no rattles. It sipped up its fill and then snaked away into a tree.
In the distance, there was a reservoir. It was the bluest blue. I scanned ahead on the map but the PCT does not meet the shores of that body of water. I was carrying 7 liters of water and hoping it would be enough. Even though it was nearly too warm to drink, I wanted to glug it all down. My feet were aching again. I think the heat is accelerating the weird werewolf changes happening in my feet.