What a freaking day today....
It rained last night and I prayed that the rain wouldn’t last into today’s hike to town… well it did. And at over 10,000 elevation eventually the rain turned into sleet and snow.
I was freezing. Frozen to the bone. I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold in my life. I played some cinematic music at the beginning of the day as it was truly beautiful hiking through the trees with the rain and fog.
Surprisingly, my spirits were high despite the fact I hate hiking in the rain.
We were so excited to get to town today and get into a dry bed that I was hiking like a mad man.
Then the real cold set in and I was still 5ish miles away from the road. Pocket Lizard and Miss Pancakes were up ahead and I was about a 1/2 mile behind and Jess was in the rear another 1/2 mile behind me.
Around 12pm we finally reached the road after taking the side trail off the PCT to the campground. It was still pouring outside. The four of us were so cold. Now we needed to find a hitch into town 25 miles away. We were a little worried because not many people were driving on this road in the pouring rain today.
A couple cars passed and they stopped and told us they didn’t have room but to not lose hope as there are some other people leaving the campground soon as well.
The 3rd car that passed I went into the street and waved my hands in the air to get him to stop and he fit all 4 of us into his car. He has hiked the Arizona trail so he understood why we were hitching.
Yes, this means Jess and I did end up convincing our friends to stay with us in Lone Pine.
When we got to Lone Pine we tried 4 hotels before we had one that was a decent price and could check us in. The whole town was out of power so that was a problem.
I ended up giving the hotel we chose my card for collateral and they let us up into the room for us to get out of our wet clothes and try to find something in our bags that was not soaked to put on.
After we were dry (ish) we went to a restaurant called Mount Whitney to get some lunch. I ordered a burger and hot chocolate to warm up.
After lunch some of us went back to the hotel, others the gear shop, others the other stores etc.
We met back at the hotel and decided our next moves for the day after we did what we wanted.
Not quite sure how we ended up at the bar with Beer Mister and tons of other hikers, but here we are and we stayed there till around 2am.
Won’t get too much into details, but in no apparent order we drank, ate pizza, had shots, I drew everyone’s trail names on napkins, went into a hot tub and played some pool.
It was a great night with some pretty great people. I met a bunch of new friends too.
We fell asleep around 3am. (Jess went to bed around 12:30 though)
OH and today is the day Jess finally got her trail name! I named her Duck :)