May 30, 2017
Lake Isabella – Mile 656.03
Slept in again today, and then slowly started getting things ready to leave. Cougar and Dr. McDirty went to the post office to pick up Cougar’s new pack, and then headed back to the trail, but I still had to wait for my package with new shoes to be delivered, and Gummies kindly waited with me. We had to leave the room around 11 for check out time, so we headed back over to our favourite Lake Isabella haunt, Taco Bell. We stopped at the post office along the way and I mailed a few small things home that I don’t want/need anymore.
We sat in Taco Bell until almost 6pm, sucking up the wifi and eating various dollar menu items. There was a comment on Facebook that Lake Isabella has “great milkshakes and meth labs”, and spending an entire day hanging out at Taco Bell made the latter quite clear. It was pretty brutal. We were tracking the package online, but I finally called the motel just to check, and they said it had just been delivered! Victory! We immediately rushed over to pick it up. My new shoes feel soooo good. I’m so happy I had them delivered here, even though it made for an insanely long town stop.
After picking up the shoes, we had to try to hitch back to the trail. This town is known for having some of the more difficult hitching, and we stood on the side of the road for a while before anyone would pull over. Finally, a guy driving a “creeper van” (his words), stopped to pick us up. He was a hiker from last year, so he knew exactly where we wanted to go. He had tons of amazing advice and stories to share about his own hike. It was awesome. He drove us right back to Walker Pass Campground.
It was around 7:30pm when we finally started hiking, so the sun was already starting to go down. Being back on trail after so long was a strange but welcome feeling. After hiking for just a few minutes, my mind immediately felt so much clearer. The trail just feels right. We had a bit of a climb out of the pass, but in the cool evening air it wasn’t bad at all. The colours of the sunset created a gorgeous backdrop for the hills as we climbed. The views were beautiful. I really do love hiking into the evening. We only made it about 5 miles before deciding to set up camp in a saddle. The last little bit was slow going, as it had gotten fully dark but we both resisted stopping to get out our head lamps. Luckily, the bright crescent of the moon was shining enough that we cast shadows along the trail. So happy to be back.