day 18: trail treats & tiny tents


266.5 – 276.5

we wake up late (wellll 7:30) & spend a lazy morning lounging around the hostel drinking coffee & coconut water. i sort out my resupply, mashing snacks together into ziploc bags & then squishing everything down to fit inside of my 13 liter food bag. i have a feeling that i have too much food this time around but i decide that the security is worth the extra couple of pounds. coming into big bear i had about 500 calories left mostly in the form of coconut oil packets & fruit snax which was cutting it a little too close for comfort. plus we still don’t really know how many miles we’ll be able to reasonably hike each day since it’s pepa’s first week on trail since 2015. 

i have a few errands to run, mostly involving the post office but even so we’re ready to be back on trail by 10:30 when a local trail angel swings through to shuttle us back to the highway. it feels like most of the people that i’ve been hiking around the last few days are staying another night in town but we agree that we’d rather get on trail & take a chill day, maybe do ten miles, camp early, catch up on sleep. 

pepa has been alluding to some special snacks that he’s packed out for me &, over lunch in a shaded patch, he presents me with a whole pound of dried mango & shiitake mushrooms & honey stix & bacon jerky (?!?!) “the best part,” he says, “is that i’ll carry them all until you’re ready for them.” romance! 

my stomach is in rough shape all afternoon, probably because of the exotic town foods that i’d eaten the day before (vegetables! meat! fried things!) & i’m happy to call it a night when we find a crumbled picnic table & a nice flat area at the top of a small crest. patchwork comes up behind after a while, & then a friendly alaskan couple & we’re easily able to tempt all three of them into joining us for the evening. tonight is our first time setting up & sharing pepa’s little one man shelter. it’s bigger than mine, though not by much, but we’re determined to try it out for a while & see if we can avoid buying a whole new tent. after a little bit of shimmying we’re able to fit both of our packs & ourselves reasonably comfortably & we sleep, grateful to be together. 


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