Out here, we take nothing for granted. A free ziploc bag? Right when the one I keep my trail mix in tore and spilled all over my pack? Yes! Baby wipes? Right when I was getting really tired of smelling myself? Yess!! A free hiker box? Right when my resupply box of food happened to wander off somewhere? Yesss!!! A plastic box? Right when our feet really needed a tub for a much-needed epsom salt bath? Yessss!!!!
The girl with the pulpy feet and I soaked our feet in a plastic hiker box at Mt. Laguna campground a few days ago. We then split up again, and my hiking partner, Vanilla, and I, hiked a few dozen more miles and came across our next town stop. A hyper lady pulled over and crammed 12 of us into her van and took us to her restaurant in Julian.
Ever since we arrived, everything has been a beautiful, surreal, magical experience. A cafe in Julian gave me a free banana. A woman handed me an avocado. Another woman showed up and dropped off a huge box of oranges and apples. A hiker gave me half of her burrito. A restaurant let us hang out in their parking lot all day and gave us free soda and foot baths.
Someone gave me some cooling gel (yes! finally!) and KT tape for my swollen achilles. I’m going to sleep on the floor in a house tonight (yes! a warm house!). We get free breakfast at Carmin’s and free pie at Mom’s Pie House tomorrow. Julian is amazing! I have been here as a local tourist but never as a thru-hiker. I had no idea they were so welcoming towards hikers!
Also, I called my favorite book store before I began hiking the PCT and told them I’d be in Julian to pick up my resupply package and asked them to pick out a small, lightweight book for me to take on the PCT so that I’d have something to read while I take breaks from hiking. They said they’d love to. I should be able to pick it up tomorrow morning.
As amazing as all this is, we plan to be back on the trail by tomorrow evening. I’m in a great deal of pain due to my inflamed achilles tendon, but hopefully I heal up a bit overnight. Maybe a restful night indoors will do me some good.