Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Woke up early, ate some Cheerios and headed up the trail! Uphill right away, but the rest of the day was basically 22 miles of downhill! Very easy walking, but very dry and hot and DUSTY! Around 11:30, we had hiked about 15 miles (and were only hiking 24 for the day) but water was nowhere to be found! Our mouths were dry and we read that the next water source was another 4 miles away..........so on we went. It was so dusty that you can not hike too close to the person in front of you because of the cloud of dust! Crazy, like the desert all over again. Got to that river and drank up and cleaned our legs/feet off. Felt great. That was at 2pm and I realized that the Post Office in Old Station closes at 4:30 and Chels had mailed us a package there! Yeah!!! Only 4.3 miles to go and we were there by 3:15! Got our letter and bars...Thanks Chels and George!! Grabbed an ice cream sandwich at the store and a Dr. Pepper........and a 25 cent bag of popcorn (like at the movies!!) Then Thrust called the Heitman's (trail angels that let you stay at their house nearby) We were picked up in 3 minutes! 7 of us and backpacks crammed into the caravan and here we are right now at their house! I can smell the chicken on the BBQ and saw some corn on the cob being shucked earlier! I'm not sure WHY we bought food in Chester, because we've had amazing dinners the past 2 nights in a row! It sure is fun to carry the food..........Oh, we saw a 4H group going up the trail today all on horseback, that was pretty cool! Well, going to finish up here because dinner is almost ready! We'll camp on the lawn here tonight and be back on the trail in the morning!! Oh and there are some hikers from last year here cooking up a storm! Wounded Knee is one of them and we both know Numtum/ultrabrite from different trails (small world it is!!)
Had a great time at the Deluxe Continental breakfast!!! Waffles, cereal, english muffins, boiled eggs, loved it! Then we ran over to the Post Office to get our box (with all of our maps, trail info, food that we had forwarded from South Lake Tahoe).............well, it NEVER made it there! So, we wasted all day hanging out yesterday for nothing! Ahhhhhhh. I ran to the store, bought some food, packed it up and Mark (the Best Western manager) came and picked us all up and brought us to the trail. We were hiking by 0845. Easy walking, but really dusty and dry. By noon, we had hiked about 10 miles, so we only had 8.5 left for the afternoon! Saw a side trail for "Terminal Geyser" and I'd never seen a geyser before, so we all hiked the .02 down to the stinky, smelly, boiling and steaming hole in the ground. Sulfur stink! But it was cool, then we saw 5 deer and passed "Boiling Lake" (which was actually a green sulfur lake) and then we could see Drakesbad Ranch down in the valley! We stopped in the parking lot, cleaned our legs off, then made our way to the ranch (where they are SUPER hiker friendly) As soon as we got there, they took our dirty clothes, gave us clean stuff to put on, gave us a shower, let us go in the hot springs pool and then we got to purchase dinner at the child's rate of $10 (which is an amazing deal for this place) We had spring mix salad, roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans and my favorite....cranberry sauce!! Then raspberry and chocolate ice cream for desert!! We were in heaven! Wow! What an amazing place that was! Walked 1/4 mile down the road to a campground and camped for the night with full bellies!!!!