Day 9 – April 30

Mile 144 to 151.8 (7.8 miles+walk to paradise)

Tater Tot and I woke up and booked it to Paradise Cafe. It was a bit of a climb and it was foggy, cold and drizzly but we made it there by 10am and both ordered a bagel, hash browns and two sides of avocado. Which doesn’t sound that exciting, but man we were in actual paradise. From there, we got an easy hitch into Idyllwild by a kind older lady named Linda, if I remember correctly. She said she usually doesn’t pick up strangers, but we looked “welcoming and clean”. Well, we definitely weren’t clean. But I’d say we are definitely welcoming to a free hitch into town. It was a really nice hitch. She was so sweet and loved hearing and sharing stories. One thing we noticed about hitch hiking, is that the driver always brings up politics. Man… Do I really want to get into that? Don’t know about that! We were dropped off right outside of Sky Island Natural Foods, which was actual heaven. Of course, I got a green date shake and Tate got a green smoothie. Gotta get them greens!!!! I hope to go back tomorrow for a wheatgrass shot and maybe a fresh juice before returning to my dreary hiker diet!
Afterwards, we went to the gear shop where Tots bought some more fuel. There were so many hikers up there, it was a bit overwhelming. We went to the library and figured out what to do to get around the next trail closure. It really is a bummer that we must skip parts of the trail, but hey what can we do? It’s closed. Her mom arrived shortly after, with fresh baked vegan chocolate chip cookies and a code to the cabin she rented from air bnb. The day just kept getting better and better. We got to the cabin, devoured all the calories we had burned, did laundry, showered and ate even more. My parents decided to come visit with even MORE food. Vegan chocolate cheese cake, carrot cake, muffins and more! And the best part…. THEY BROUGHT RIPLEY! man I missed that pup. She was so excited to see me! My parents took me back to the natural food store where I bought seitan jerky, chips, chocolate and more crap to lift my spirits even higher on the trail. It was nice to see them! I’ll see them in a couple weeks again in Wrightwood.

Came back to the cabin and Tate’s mom made pasta, pizza and salad and we sat around in the overly toasty living room and chatted. Now I’m in an actual bed! It feels so bizarre, but I’m so excited to sleep. Tomorrow we plan on starting late, and maybe doing about 15 miles. Pretty excited about the next stretch! There’s apparently snow! It’s such a change being up here in this cute little mountain town after cooking in the desert sun.

Very content, and cozy at the moment. Certainly not mentally prepared to get up in the morning. Super thankful to have met Tater tot, who has such a supportive and giving mom! My belly is happy, my body is happy and I’m just happy happy happy.


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