A welcome night of blissful sleep in the Hiker Hilton . A cosy bed and the knowledge of a warm shower close at hand does wonders for the spirit .
I wake about seven and join the other hikers for breakfast at Bobs ranch . (A fry up of epic proportions . )We cycle there along the streets if Etna and i notice the yard sales all over the town . It seems one weekend a year everyone in the village puts their unwanted ‘stuff’ on their lawns and sells it . People from all over drive up just for the weekend to rummage . A sense of the festive is in the air and people wave to me and shout encouragment “you on the PCT? ” , “Good on you !” , “Best of luck!” . I love these little communitys , they offer hope for our next generation . They still hold the keys of support, going the extra mile and mucking in . Where the city folks seem to have all but lost their way .
Im standing at the bus stop , ive just said goodbye to Gus . We have hiked together on and off for over a month , its strange to think we may not see each other for a long while , especialy after sharing such a wonderful path . Thankyou Gus for your patience , moral support and putting up with my flatulance .
I make my way just a couple of miles up the trail tonight , which i note is absoloutly manicured ( really , its like a crown green bowling lawn) . Im tired from the bus travel and the 100plus degrees that has desended on us the last few days . I put up my tent and cook , im joined by a small cloud of mosquitos and sand flys , i waft them away as i try to eat my dinner . Im asleep before i zip up my bag tonight .
Late in the night , a single crash of rolling thunder breaks the muggy night . I jolt awake , suddenly aware . I waddle out to my pack and bring it under the tent for safety sake . I wait in the darkness for more thunder , but non comes , just the gentle patter of rain . Its gentle rythm soothes me to sleep . As im falling i realise it will be my birthday the day after tommorow .