May 18, 2018
The next morning the wind was still blowing really strong – how in the world did anyone enjoy a picnic in this spot?? Then my coffee kicked in and I had to dig a hole ASAP. The hole was fine, but I felt kind of exposed in the daylight and made a quick job of it, pulling my pants on very hastily. A little too hastily. Turns out I wasn’t quite finished. That was definitely one of my lowest moments. Ever.
Oh well, they say you’re not a true hiker until you’ve shit your pants at least once.
After Ghosthiker hiked off up the trail, Sparky and I drove back to Julian for some fresh, hot coffee and then headed toward the San Diego REI. They were having a huge 80th Anniversary sale starting at 8:00am, and we couldn’t resist. Ghosthiker asked us to look for a new tent for her and I needed new trekking poles. After leaning on my poles like crutches for so many miles in the desert, the tips had been worn down more than an inch – plastic, metal, and all. They were not a well-known brand and I was saddened to learn that the tips were irreplaceable, so I needed to buy a whole new pair. Good thing REI was having a sale! I got a fantastic pair of Blac Diamond poles that were significantly lighter than my old ones, but just as sturdy. Oh, and the tips are replaceable! Win-win.
Even though I felt fairly confident with my recent New Balance purchase, I couldn’t resist checking out REI’s shoe sale while we were there. I tried on a pair of Hoka One Ones and was shocked by how wonderful they felt. After trying on a few others, I ended up buying a nice pair of Oboz for the upcoming Sierra section. Sparky swore by them, especially for more rugged terrain. I decided I’d return my New Balance shoes and purchase the Hokas as my next pair once we were out of the mountains. I liked the New Balance shoes, but I needed shoes that had a reputation for lasting at least 500 miles and I didn’t want to pay to mail them home.
After REI, we grabbed an early lunch at In-N-Out Burger (Nom nom nom!) and then headed straight to Scissors Crossing to pick up Ghosthiker. It was about 2:15pm when we got there and we expected to be waiting around for a while, but Ghosthiker arrived 15 minutes after we did! She was flying!
We grabbed a quick dinner in Julian and then spent the night in a hotel in Ramona.