Miles hiked: 10.33 (2227.35 to 2237.69)
Minutes spent waiting for a hitch: 5 (fastest ride ever...on a forest road, no less)
Knowing the day would be an easy one, we allowed ourselves to sleep until 7am. Glorious. Winds were still high, making for a cold morning. Overnight, we were joined in our little camp spot by Lapis, Smokey and Tintin. We chatted for awhile, putting off the inevitable. Everyone is pretty damned burned out on doing the same thing every day.
None of that group had planned a Trout Lake resupply; Any Minute and I took off behind the fast young hikers and leapfrogged Lapis until we hit Road 23 and got an incredible hitch from a local Cambodian couple. Like many hitched rides, the driving and accommodations weren't ideal (feel free to ask me personally sometime to expain THAT understatement), but the ride was short.
Trout Lake has a store, restaurant, gas station and post office. All are within a quarter mile. Perfect resupply. We were dropped at the store and quickly were hugged profusely by Tink, Screagle, Timon, 'Merica, Snake Charmer and Ducats. There was much rejoicing. Any Minute and I knew immediately that we would have to escape quickly to defeat the inertia of the group, since they all planned to stay. Grenade appeared just as I was packing up my quilt to ship back to
Vegas, having received my big 0 degree bag from David at the Trout Lake store. We caught a ride back to the trail with Grenade after a quick burger at the little restaurant.
It's very hard to escape such a vortex with just a nero; we congratulated ourselves and camped not far from the road, hoping to catch a view of the predicted aurora borealis. I finally got up the nerve to pop the blister under my big toenail. Try not to ever get a blister there.