Recovering from yesterday's insane nausea was thrilling. I did nearly 6 miles in the first 2 hours, rationing the hell out of my water, scared that Hauser Creek would be completely dry. When I saw the water cache at the bottom of the hill where the creek should've been, I actually shed a few tears. It saved me. Ahead was a 1000' ascent in long switchbacks, and my remaining 1.3 liters wouldn't have cut it.
Starting up the hill, a familiar face from the starting monument passed me coming downhill. I was sure that this wasn't a good sign. His companion was a half mile up the switchbacks, exhibiting symptoms of heat exhaustion. I immediately planned to get up to him and offer him one of my chemical ice packs and an electrolyte packet. By the time I reached him, though, he was feeling better, so I rested there until his buddy joined him. Much later that day, they made it in to Lake Morena.
I was so happy to see them come into camp, and so happy to have made it myself, that I walked down to the small store a half mile up the road and returned with pizza and beer for us. Then Mover, a dreadlocked trail veteran, took up a collection for firewood and I sat talking to Tennessee, Dave and Mover by the campfire for a few hours.
So many characters here. Dave had had a back spasm and had to pay a trail runner to bring his pack a couple miles for him. Tennessee's son Joel had been airlifted from the trail the day before due to heat exhaustion. Mover had lost his wallet in Olympia and was stuck here until a new credit card could be mailed. I found my kind of folks.