In the clouds and down to Paradise

Mile 143.9-151.9

Boy was it a windy night and I slept poorly tossing and turning most of the night. I woke up late this morning, typically I start to see the sky lighten before the sun starts to rise and use that as my cue to start breaking camp as I am loving hiking while the sun rises.  But this morning was rather dark and cold inside my tent and when I poked my head out I noticed the campsite was in the clouds.  I quickly realized the shirt I hung on the trees to air out was wet by misty conditions…oops!  Thank goodness for base layers.  I set out to pack up as quickly as I could due to cooler temperatures and got going around 7 am.  

  
 …tried to get shot of how windy it was using the grass as an example

  …sun trying to peek through

I had a quick 8 mile hike into Paradise Café that was a combination of ups and downs.  My left foot blisters on the ball are still bothering me and takes a few minutes before the discomfort subsides and I hit my stride but this morning I was really going slow and knew the blisters were part of that.  I leaped frogged a bit with Julian who I met yesterday…that dude walks fast…but otherwise I spent the morning alone.  Let me tell you he is absolutely adorable…wish I thought to snap a picture of him for you.   After reaching highway 74, I called the café for a pick up…highway walking alone still scares me a bit.  While waiting, a German motorcyclist stopped by to chat while he donned warmed clothing for his ride into city…we chatted a bit in German but I got all tongue tied and just shared about my time in Germany and the trail.  After arriving to the Café, fellow hikers Stella, Costco, Occupy, Detour and Julian were there.  It is always fun to see, catch up and chat with the fellow hikers.  As I was eating the most amazing breakfast burrito, Alison arrived and then the group of potters and other hikers I had not yet met.

…yum yum

 Detour and Julian set out to get a hitch into Idyllwild…its a road walk due to huge fire two years ago that caused massive landslides along the trail.  Poor boys were out there more than 1 hr and just started to walk in.  Stella, Alison and I tried our luck with hitching (I may have danced) and within seconds a car stopped to pick us up.  A nice lady who lives in Idyllwild stopped…I felt so bad, not only did we stink but we were very dirty and her car was very clean and nice.  She talked about how the locals are really looking out for the hikers because Highway 74 is very windy and dangerous.  Listening to her talk about the fire reminded me very much about the Carlton Complex fire last summer.  I arrived into town, checked into Idyllwild Inn, showered, sent my clothes to be laundered and set out to figure out my sock situation at Nomad Ventures.  After a lengthy “discussion” about the possibilities, I ended up going with Injinji toe socks which I’ve been resistant to as they seem to be the in thing to use. The running theory with my blisters on the ball of my foot is they are stemming from friction between the toes…we shall see. I ended up also having to buy a new pair shoes due to sock switch warranting a larger size…cha-ching!  Afterwards I got take out from the local pizza joint which is popular with the hikers….I met and chatted with hikers; three are from Boise as well as the cashier and Patrick who I hadn’t seen since Lake Morena. I waddled my way back to my room soaked my feet for a bit then elevated them while I watched Criminal Minds and ate pizza and a refreshing salad. 

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