I woke at 6 am and just dozed I was in no hurry today well not yet my alarm sounded at 7 am I silenced it and lay there the sun was just getting up and it was already warm.
My plan for today was visit the postoffice, and all being well I planned to grab the 11am shuttle back to the trail.
I needed the bathroom so had to get up, there were about a dozen tents left as some hikers had already packed up and set off
as there was a 9am shuttle.i also heard the cafe opens at 8.30.
Once back at my tent I had a quick tidy dumped my boxes and packaging from my recent deliveries. Then I woofed the two oranges that I had brought in Dillon. They were so tasty.
Then burning man appeared he had coffee. A banana and a breakfast burrito.
He insisted I eat half the burrito and half of his banana.
Both were delicious .
Burning man then began to pack up , as they sky had now turned black I thought I should do the sane before the rain came.
Once done i walked around to the front if the building .
Burning man,Pilgrim and 5 other hikers were loading their packs into the pickup (shuttle) ready to be taken back to trail. See you later guys and don’t get lost !!!
I left my pack in the porch and walked to the post office.
Great my replacement bladder was in but not the the other thing.
So I left a forwarding address.
Once back at the motel I swapped out my old bladder which was a 3 litre to my new 2 litre one.
My old was looking a bit grotty and occasionally leaked.
Just then Gourmet appeared so I said I’m going for breakfast wanna come ?
When we walked in there was a table of 4 hikers and at the back was Swiss Chris.
So we joined him. He had just finished a large omelette and he said it was great.
But I just fancied eggs hash and bacon. Orange juice and coffee.
Gourmet ordered the same.
It took a while to come out but was superb.
Okay back at the motel I rechecked my pack and then just waited for the shuttle 11am.
Time to go there was myself. Swiss chris,Gourmet a Sobo couple and two others who i hadn’t met before.
We are off…..
And soon we were at the trail head we thanked our driver and paid him his fee. Then we all headed off, the two hikers I hadn’t met before went storming off with gourmet in pursuit I followed lagging behind and behind me was Swiss Chris the sobos went the other way.
This road was 8 miles long , typical crunchie gravel undulating and maintained by cows. I crunched along saying to myself F*uck my pack is heavy. Well its full of food and water maybe too much water.. we will see.
I was pushing as fast as I could as it was a late start and this first part being flat should enable me to crush a few miles
I then came across gourmet who was talking 5.I passed him and kept going knowing that he would quickly steam pass me as he is incredibly fast.and sure enough he did.
But there wasn’t any sign of Swiss Chris.. maybe he’s having a nap???
I keep following this crunchy road chatting to the cows as I met them
After seversl small climbs I could see the trail head and several other hikers.
When I arrived the other hikers were getting water Kid & Hotsauce. Gourmet and omg
Blackout who I hadn’t seen since colorado.
There were also 3 other hikers who I hadn’t met.
As we got water the skies turned black.
The next section was all ridge walking and you don’t want to be up there in a storm.
After some deliberation the “Group” decided to walk the road then bushwack back to the trail at the end of the road
It seemed a good plan to me.
So I set off down the road after them.
The road meandered its way through the valley and I followed keeping an eye on the road for footprints. The miles passed before the trail split from.
the road and i was on a atv track*
Then the sky turned even darker and then thunder boomed out it appeared that I wase following the storm.
It began to drizzle then began to pour . I stopped to put on my pack cover then my rain jacket .I had just hoisted my pack when it began to hail.
Big hail ,marble size that bloody hurt. Really bloody hurt .it hailed for almost 10 minutes turning the trail white. I pushed on until I heard a noise behind me, it was a Atv it zoomed past me followed by another.
I followed on until I could see the gang. Then they were off and up a ridiculous steep long hill.
Again I followed. God it was steep and so bloody long.
I began to wonder what the official Route would have been like.?
I followed Ollie (Aussie Girl) until she split from the trail and headed right. I stopped and in the distance on two hills over were the rest of the hikers (Fast)
I followed after Ollie and climbed up another steep hill.
Several of the hikers were resting here as we were now on the official Cdt again. Whoop
The views from up here were just amaxing WOW!!
the rest of the afternoon we would be back to walking the ridge. Such FUN !!
BUT it would be steep downs and super steep ups.
It started of course with a down.
I did my best but was so slow and my knee was aching again
I did this up ,down, up down up down for the rest of the afternoon
I would love to camp but I’m on the ridge and no water as I’m.on the ridge.
Once again the skies grew black and the thunder rang out so bloody loud.
The guys in front stopped by a
Bone Arrow that indicated water.
We all hoped that we could camp too. We scrambled down the path until we reached the water. It began to rain so we all went searching for a tent spots
They managed to squeeze 5 tents into the Postage stamp space by the spring . I crossed over and found a reasonable spot under a tree.
I had just got my tent up when the heavens opened. But after 20 minutes the rain stopped and out came the sun but it was 7pm and we were all ready to camp.
I went and fetched water and was amazed on how the 5 groups had
manged to wedge all their tents around the spring.
I headed back to my tent and cooked dinner and so to bed