March 29, 2021
Slept so well last night. Good thing, too. I needed it. I hope Ghosthiker slept the same if not better. I only woke up once to put more air in my mattress and then I didn’t wake up again until 5:00am. I actually had a dream that I got off trail and went home and then immediately regretted it, so I was trying to catch the next flight back to AZ. It was surreal and unpleasant. It was like being talked by that terrible depression and borderline PTSD I experienced after quitting the PCT. I hate the pressure I feel to complete hikes. I mean, I don’t want to be a quitter. But it sucks.
We hiked out and immediately had a climb, but it wasn’t long. We made it to Cottonwood Spring by 9:00am, where we ran into Private Idaho and Kayla. They camped there and are doing very small mile days, so I’m not sure how much we’ll see them after today.
Took a break, watered up, and then set out for Roosevelt Lake Marina. It was mostly a pleasant road walk with lots of ups and downs that were steep but nothing like the climbs and descents yesterday. We ended up hiking into the marina around noon with Afterburner and his friends, whose names I was finally able to commit to memory: Way Back and Navigator.
The first thing we did was make a beeline for the store. I was so excited to get my new shoes, but the lady there couldn’t find my box! While she was looking, Bass tapped on the glass and waved, then gestured for us to join him on the patio out back when we were done. Ghosthiker and I made our way back there and sat in the shade, and Bass abandoned his table in the sun to join us. I immediately got on my phone to see what had happened to my resupply box. Turns out I’d accidentally had it sent to the Post Office in Roosevelt instead of to the marina. Shit.
We sat with Bass for a while, eating and chatting while other hikers arrived and claimed tables. Ghosthiker reached out to a local Trail Angel and we put a little blurb on Facebook asking for help, but got no responses. We stood by the road for a little while hoping to get a hitch, but no luck there, either. We even had a sign that said AZT Hiker to Town, but no one stopped. After about 20 minutes of that, Ghosthiker suggested we go back to the store to ask staff and customers if anyone would be willing to give us a ride. She’s way more comfortable with this sort of thing than I am, but eventually a marina employee said he could run me into town when he clocked out at 3:00pm. The Post Office closes at 4:00pm so that was perfect!
Across from the marina, there’s a little shaded area with a few picnic tables and a tiny phone shack (without a phone) where hikers are welcome to hang out and dig through the hiker boxes located inside the shack. That was a little sketchy, since there was no door on the shack so the boxes were open to the outside and there was evidence of mice, but we still found quite a few goodies worth snagging. The best part about the shack was all the solar-charged outlets available for hiker use! We plugged in our stuff and then claimed a picnic table to relax and wait for my ride into town.
It was definitely after 3:00pm by the time Chris arrived in a golf cart to pick me up, and I was more than a little nervous we wouldn’t make it to the Post Office in time, but I needn’t have been worried. We took the golf cart to his truck and he whisked me into town double-quick, where I was able to retrieve my box from the Post Office. I definitely gave him cash for his trouble, especially when I learned that he only clocked out so he could take me to town, and was headed back to clock back into work!
Seriously, everything works out on this trail. It’s nuts.
And it gets better. When I got back to the hiker rest area, the group we’ve come to call The Kids were there (Joe Dirt, Tweety, and Krissy – Ethan had to get off trail due to a knee injury). And as if friendly faces weren’t enough, I busted open my box and found extra treats inside from Mom! There were separate bags for both me and Ghosthiker: mint Oreos, dark chocolate, and protein bars! Thanks, Mom!!
Several more familiar hikers arrived throughout the afternoon, and a few of us stayed up way too late at the picnic tables sharing a small bottle of whiskey and listening to music on our phones, turned down way low to as not to disturb anybody. Cameron was bemoaning how long his hair had gotten, so I gave him one of my hair ties and he looked at me like I’d just hung the moon. It was adorable (he’s like 14 years younger than me so I can say that, lol).
Fun Fact: The hiker box shack definitely has mice. I literally saw them scampering across the grass near my tent and jumping into the shack (*shudder*). I was pitched really close to the shack and considered moving my tent, but by then there was really nowhere to move it since so many hikers had arrived. Oh well, Ghosthiker said these mice are nothing compared to what you’d encounter on the AT. I can’t say that made me feel any better, but I was comforted by the knowledge that there was way more food in the shack that would be easier to get to than anything I had in my pack, so if the mice were even halfway smart, they wouldn’t bother with my stuff.
I still didn’t sleep well that night, lol.