Food! What a motivator! It’s amazing how much it can dominate your thinking when you know you’re getting some good salty food at the end of the day’s miles!
I took some time in the morning to chat with Johnny and Patty, and gave my bear can over into their care. I hope they will enjoy it as much as me 🤪 What a difference for my backpack, in weight and bulk.
I only had 10 miles to cover, with some climbing to Tinker Knob and some uphills later, getting closer to the Donner ski area. The trail was actually the worst in the last 2 miles, descending to Donner Pass (loose big rocks and rockslides).
I sat down at the ski ranch (only outside seating now) around 1pm and didn’t leave until 6:30pm! I ate fries, a big salad and two pieces of pie. And drank lots of iced tea!
A group of other thru-hikers was well into the beer on another table (PCT hikers get a 40oz free beer here!), and I watched from a distance. To be honest, I found them a bit embarrassing. Sure, we get dusty and dirty but a quick wipe of your bare legs and face in a creek is not hard (or the bathroom here) if they are black with dirt. And they were definitely speed drinking and smoking a lot of stuff. Watching was entertaining though, trying to figure out the couples 🙂
Then I found Lost&Found again! He had arrived the previous day and we reconnected, exchanging stories about the thunderstorm that made me bail from Cottonwood Pass (he outran it in 6-7 miles he said), my note that he actually found and his journey. Fun!
I just relaxed but as it got later, I thought it would be wise to encourage L&F and his hiking partner Jellybean (very drunk) to leave the restaurant (i.e. stop drinking) and at least walk a bit. We made it 5 min to the spot they camped at last night (just off where the trail crosses the road) and are all camped here. I only have to walk back 5 min in the morning to meet Susan! Looking forward to Oregon tomorrow!