I want to explain how lost a PCT hiker feels without the trail. There was a fire a little ahead of us, and the trail was closed from Lake Isabella to Kennedy Meadows. This was supposed to be our last stretch of the desert before setting foot into the snowy Sierras, and we needed that part of the trail to hike while the snow melted, and most importantly, we needed to that time to acclimate and mentally process how different this new terrain, weather, and environment was going to be. When we got off the trail and realized that the section ahead was closed, but it was too early to go into the Sierras, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We wandered around town, camped at a local’s favorite spot by the river, ate terrible-tasting fast food, and shopped for essentials and nonessentials, but really had no plans, and although that’s fine on the trail, that’s nerve-wracking in town because we don’t like to stay in town for too long–we belong out on the trail! Juggling ideas and considering our options, we thought about living by the river for a while, or finding another trail to hike in the meantime, or hitching a ride to a mountain or forest that the PCT doesn’t cross and we wouldn’t get to see otherwise, or taking a road trip, or walking from town to town and exploring the neighborhoods and getting to know the locals, and although all of these were viable alternatives, none of them sounded as good as what we came out here to do: hiking the PCT. After a day in town full of dilly-dallying and trying to figure things out, we defeatedly went back to the river to spend another night there and thought we’d figure it out in the morning. Before we got to our home for the night, a local volunteered the information that the trail will be reopened the next day at 6pm. We were overjoyed! We high-fived and went to bed with smiles on our faces. This evening, we aren’t going to be small town wanderers anymore, but PCT hikers once again.