​Day 93: Chester to mile 1346.3

7.17.18. 15 miles.

I woke up this morning around 6:30. It was so nice to sleep in! After getting up to use the port a potty, I crawled back into my quilt and finished scheduling blog posts, something I hadn’t done since the lakehouse! After that I needed to repair some little holes in my tent, so I took a good amount of time cutting tape and placing it over the holes. They’re all super tiny and I have no idea what they’re from. According to ZPacks, they’re from mice, but they’re on the top of my tent? Idk they just didn’t want to assume any responsibility. I was told to tape on the outside & inside but I just did the inside for patience sake.

After getting most of my stuff packed, except for my tent and food, I went to breakfast with LOL. We talked about things we wanted to do right after the PCT, budget allowing. I said I want to take a Caribbean cruise, and I wouldn’t even care if I was by myself in an inner stateroom. Just give me unlimited food, the pool, and beaches and I’ll be happy as a clam. Pretty much anything all-inclusive that doesn’t involve me having to think or move too much sounds pretty good.

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After the fantasizing, it was time to get ready to actually leave. I called my dad, finished packing my things and waited for my phone to charge and for the restaurant that has the jumbo milkshake to open. I was first in line at 11:00 am when they opened and got the 32 oz Oreo shake with a burger. The burger was meh, but the shake was goooodd! It wasn’t really a shake though bc it was so thick you couldn’t drink it. It was basically a McFlurry. I almost finished it, but could not do the last 3 inches in the cup. LOL met up with me, and we went to the road to start hitching back to the trail around 12. We got a ride after about 15 minutes of trying from a man, David, who is section hiking the trail and actually did the whole desert with his daughter this year! His daughter is still hiking and has flipped around a bit bc they did the desert so early. It was very nice of him to give us a ride, and he was going out of his way too!

LOL and I hiked separately today, which felt normal since I’ve been hiking alone for the past week. But we met up at water breaks. Nothing too exciting happened this afternoon, I just hiked through a lot of the same terrain as I have been: lots of forest and some exposed brushy areas. The hiking wasn’t too difficult either, or maybe my milkshake just powered me through the day. It was super hot when we started hiking, at 12:30, but actually seemed to cool down, and earlier than the evening too. I mainly listened to podcasts once the climb started when it was hot. They’re very entertaining and now that I’ve got a few recommendations, I can listen to a wide variety of shows. I’m currently listening to She Explores, Marcus & Sandy Off the Air (my home radio morning show people), Ted Talks Daily, Backpacker Radio, This American Life, Left, Right, Center (a current events show), Outside Magazine podcast, and just finished S-Town and Serial, season 2. I’ve got others on the docket that I haven’t had enough signal to download, but if you have suggestions, leave a comment!

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I got to the boundary of Lassen National Park at 7:00 pm and considered going further to the designated campground, but once I got to the camp and saw all the people at the site and started talking to everyone, I decided to stay. It’s a cool group that’s here tonight, I hope I get to see them more. When we were all sitting around and talking one of the guys yelled out “Bear!” And sure enough, there was a black bear roaming around down below our tents, actually pretty close to us at one point. We all stood up and started yelling at it to leave, and it literally did not care about our presence, and continued to rip apart a log. And there were at least 10 of us yelling and slowly approaching, trying to chase it off. He sort of meandered away, but we all stood around talking loudly, hoping he would keep moving away, and hoping that he won’t come back tonight. Now we see why the bear canisters are required in the park! We’re camped outside the park though, so technically we don’t need them. We all do need to move through the park in one day without camping within the boundary since we don’t have our canisters anymore though. But it was so cool seeing my first bear of the trip! Now I can finally tell people I saw one on the PCT. And hopefully I sleep well tonight bc I’m waking up early tomorrow. I’m hoping to have a pretty big day tomorrow so want to get started early.

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