Miles Hiked: 11
Total Milage: 2388.2
Today I woke up around 6:30am. It felt late for a town day. We had to hike 5 miles on the CDT and then 6 miles down the straight creek trail to get to the road where we could possibly hitch to town. The road is very remote and the odds of getting a ride is pretty low. It’s a dead end road for trail heads and that’s it. A lot of people pay a guy who we heard charges $90 per carload to pick them up. I was a bit nervous about not having a ride scheduled but I didn’t really want to pay this guy twice because I know I will definitely be paying for a ride out of town. Personally I think $90 a car load is a little ridiculous but it’s a much needed service that no one else is offering. It was another freezing cold morning and I was hiking around 7am. The area I hiked through for the first five miles was all burned and exposed. I noticed that I accidentally left camp with my headlamp still on my head. I took it off and put it in one of my pockets or so I thought. A couple miles later I realized I didn’t have it anymore and I was so sad. It was such a nice head lamp and not a cheap one either. Losing gear sucks so much especially after I’ve used it for so long. I met up with Peach Fuzz and Melon at the Junction. We waited around for Ozark but after a while we were starting to get very cold so we kept hiking. It looked like it was going to rain.
Melon and Peach Fuzz were hiking crazy fast. Melon did not have a rain coat so I’m sure he was super worried. It did end up raining so I stopped for a little bit to put on all my rain gear and make sure everything was water proofed. I gave up on keeping up with anyone because I didn’t want to get hurt. When I made it to the Straight Creek trailhead there was a “Bob Marshal Wilderness” sign so I made sure to get a picture with it. I finished my hike for the day and now I was on a dirt and gravel road. I ran into Peach Fuzz sitting at the intersection of the trail head road and the main road. He was cooking some food so I made some hot apple cider. We could only assume that Melon was able to get a ride into town already. I really hope he did! We were clearly in the middle of nowhere with low odds as I had expected. I figured we would at least wait a few hours before I would send a satellite message from my Garmin Inreach. As I was finishing up my hot apple cider, a car came into view. Peach Fuzz and I jumped up to put our thumbs out. I couldn’t believe we saw a car come by so fast! It ended up being a couple who just finished a backpacking loop in the next section we will hike through. They picked us up and the four of us squeezed into the front of their truck. It was a long slow 30 mile drive. The couple plans to hike the CDT in two years so they asked us a million questions. Luckily I was in the mood to chat because we nonstop talked the entire way to town. Once we got to town we wanted to get food anywhere. We ended up getting lunch with the couple before they continued their drive home. They were super nice! For lunch I had some soft pretzels with beer cheese and a waffle.
After Lunch I walked to the campground to check in. It was $20 for the night. I set up my tent, got my laundry started, took a shower and picked up my resupply box that I forwarded to myself. I went to talk to 12 pack so I could just get it over with. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped. Basically he said some more things that just confirmed that I definitely wanted to finish this hike out on my own. I let him know that and he was super upset but I felt totally fine. A clear sign that he can’t respect my space I’ve asked for time and time again. I never thought I’d have to have this conversation with another hiker. For the most part almost everyone out here is very independent and respectful of each others boundaries. After that was over, I got to hang out with the other hikers at the campground for a little bit. I went out to a bar with them to get dinner. I had some vegetable egg rolls. Later in the evening I found out that the shuttle driver Frank was making a trip out to the trail first thing in the morning. I honestly didn’t want to leave town that early but it seemed like the best decision. I knew that some other hikers were also getting on trail that day so I might as well leave before 12 pack so I don’t have to worry about running into him. Before I went to bed I got to talk to Luke on the phone which was great. I let him know that I won’t have any service for the next week so I likely won’t get to talk to him until I finish. I’m sad to not be able to talk to my family and friends but I’m looking forward to just soaking in the trail to the maximum these next few days.