Day 99: (16.98)
mile 1322.88 – 1339.86
Today was a big day. We made it to, and past, the halfway mark of the PCT, and now there is no turning back. For the first time we are closer to Canada than Mexico. Hurray! Luckily Ms. Frizzle passed us with about a mile to go before midpoint so when we arrived she was able to take our picture.
We signed the registry and decided to hitch into Chester for a soda and a shake to celebrate, as well as to do laundry, charge the phone and take a shower. It took a little longer than our “normal” to get a ride as there were 4 other thru-hiker trying to hitch to town as well once we made it to Hwy 36. However, 30 minutes later we were able to score a ride from a couple (who a contractors with the Forest Service to study woodpeckers) who had just dropped off another hiker and were going to head back into town. Once in town (7.5 miles) we have them drop us at the coin laundromat/shower, which is across the street from an awesome (but slow) burger and shake place. We clean up. Charge up and add to our snacks supply for the next 4 days (hiker hunger…ate most of them from our resupply two days ago) and begin our hitch back to the trail. As luck would have it, we get a ride to the trail from trail angel Mohawk Lisa who was heading home from work. We load up into her truck and up to the trail we head. She tells us she is one of the trail angels that helps maintain the cache at the Chester trailhead (with “Tooth Fairy”… town dentist), and picks up hikers to town…and back. She introduced herself as “Mohawk Lisa”. Paul being the wise guy that he is asks her, why do they call you Mohawk Lisa? She looks at him like “seriously? “, and we all break into laughter.
She asks our trail names, and I tell her that the wise guy next to me is Just Paul, and I’m One Speed. ” Really fast One Speed, right? “, she asks. I wish. After a bit of conversation… we were stalling as its always hard to get back started again, even if this was just a four hour town trip…we start back on the trail. The tread is easy, but our packs are a bit heavier which we will remedy in a few days. We make another five miles till it starts to rain. Mohawk Lisa warned us of a 30% chance of thunder showers. It just became 100%. No worries, as we are prepared and find an acceptable place to pitch our tent. Still full from town food, we unpack and set off to sleep. At least the rain will temper the dusty trail and we’ll stay ” clean…er”, at least for tomorrow.