Day 6: mile 55.9 to mile 71.2

4.21.18. 15.3 miles.

Another good day today! Cowboy camping went surprisingly well. I got hot around 3 am and shed my wind pants and rain jacket and felt good. The sunrise from my quilt was amazing! It was nice getting all my stuff ready watching the sun rise. I felt like I had to triple check to make sure I had everything though. I was terrified of things flying away. I also didn’t use my pillow last night bc I was afraid of it spitting out from underneath my head and flying away, and I didn’t wake up to any kinks in my neck or anything... I may ditch the pillow for good bc I’ve been thinking about it anyways. I’ll decide by Warner Springs or Idyllwild.

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The morning was absolutely gorgeous. We had similar views as yesterday, just a different angle. After a couple hours we got to the sunrise trailhead junction and there was trail magic! Grapefruit and energy balls. I don’t even like grapefruit but I ate one and it was pretty amazing. So juicy!

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I hiked with Jim again for the better part of the morning. So nice talking with him! We talked about me being homesick earlier, zero days, hiking stuff, and Bay Area sports teams. It started getting hot much earlier today, like around 10 is when I noticed it being real bad. I kept searching for a good spot to rest in the shade but also had a big rest spot in mind (Rodriguez road) so I kind of just wanted to get there.

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And that was the BEST idea ever because we had trail magic AGAIN at the spot I wanted to rest! A hiker from last year named Happy Feet brought shade, Powerade, soda, beers, bananas, and chips and that was pretty much the best thing ever. I hung out and talked with him and all the other hikers for probably 2 hours. He was really nice to talk to and I also realized I follow him on Instagram from last year! He takes great pics. It was the best kind of trail magic because we all just chilled out and sat together and talked and ate and drank like a big hiker trash family. And it was with people I’ve been leapfrogging basically since starting the trail so it was nice to chat with them more!

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I finally left the magic at around 3:45 to find a camp spot. I wanted to be about 5 miles from scissors crossing, so I had to hike at least 4-5 more miles before ending the day. I was trying to go a little faster when all of the sudden I heard a rattle and jumped a foot in the air. My first rattlesnake! I didn’t even see it- it was totally hiding under a bush next to the trail. I took a few steps back and sort of saw it under there. Thankfully there was enough room for me to go slightly off trail and around. I ran a few feet after I got back on trail to get further away. I got a text message from Amanda right after which made me jump again bc I thought it was another rattler! The rest of the day I was just staring at the trail/ the bushes next to it to be more alert.

I got to a campsite with Thumbellina, Tyler, and Violet but wanted to push on. The next campsite had more people (Angie, Helen, Sierra, and Ann) all cowboy camping and I had just climbed an annoying hill so I decided to camp with them. It’s like a giant sleepover, we’ve had such a great evening! Poor Sierra had a huge blister on her foot and Angie was able to provide her WFR services and help her out. I also had to drain a tiny blister on my toe. These gals are all super nice, I’m glad I decided to stop and stay with them. Cowboy camping for the second night in a row! Woo! I actually kind of like it, but I do like being able to explode all of my stuff in my tent too. There’s supposed to be a meteor shower tonight though, so we’ve decided if someone is up (which half of us can’t sleep thru the night anyways yet), and we see meteors we need to wake the others up to see!

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My body is holding up pretty well and I’m really happy about it especially since I’ve been going a little harder than I anticipated before leaving. It’s hard though to only limit yourself to like 11-12 miles a day out here though. Today for instance I hiked 10 miles before noon. It will be good to have a shorter day tomorrow though even though I’m sure I’m going to have to walk around town a lot to do errands.

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I’m very excited to get to Julian tomorrow. I can’t wait to eat pie and meet Carmen before she leaves her shop! I’ve heard the best things about her & her hugs.

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