Mile 143 to 152
Well we didn't get attacked by a 200 lb house cat last night, thankfully, but we were short on water this morning so coffee was out of the question. The good part about not having to make coffee is that we were on the trail earlier than usual, 6:45 am.
Pillsbury gets up and going early and was on the trail a good thirty minutes before we were. It was a nice cool morning with overcast skies for the better part of the day. As per usual the trail climbed and fell throughout the day. I have finally come to accept that the trail isn't going to be flat.
A few miles from our camp we hit an unexpected treat in the form of Trail Magic. We didn't want to get the water filter out and we had enough water to get us the 9 miles to Paradise Valley Cafe. Especially since we didn't have any coffee.
We leap frogged with Glimmer, Teddy Rose, and Happy Feet for most of the day. We only saw Yuke (not Juke), Prestige, and Cash once towards the end of the day. They must have gotten a late start.
The nine miles we had to do ended up being a hard nine miles. Two things seem to happen on the trail... One, a short mileage day never seems to be as easy as it seems it should be. Two, there always seems to be a huge mountain or obstacle at the end of a day, just before our destination. We are learning not to anticipate what the trail has in store for us, but it is hard not to.
Finally arriving at Hwy 74 with very sore feet, we did the mile walk to Paradise Valley Cafe. There were many other hikers here already including the groups we had been leap frogging with all day. We sat down amongst the other customers trying not to let our filthy clothes and stench set us apart. We ordered an amazing coffee milk shake and two burgers. Still not as good as the burger we had at Lake Morena but a close second.
After our bellies were full we filled up our water containers with their hose and hiked the mile back to the trail were we rolled out our sleeping pads and let the food coma overcome us.
We laid there for close to an hour before we noticed storm clouds getting closer and closer. We checked the weather report and asked a couple of day hikers if rain was coming and everything said that it wasn't. Everything was wrong.
We are now back at the Paradise Valley Cafe watching the rain come down, the lightening strike off in the distance, and listening to the huge claps of thunder. The Cafe has been wonderful and is letting us and any other hiker that wants to sleep under their patio, which is what we are doing tonight. It might be a cold, hard, and wet concrete slab but it is out of the rain, which our tent can't take. We promptly placed an order with our tent manufacturer for a tent liner, which should make our tent more water repellent.
In case you missed it, we did that mile walk to and from the trail and the Cafe three times. We welcome extra miles. :)
My nachos are here now so I'm signing off. Stay safe, stay dry, and eat at Paradise Valley Cafe!