I stayed in my tent a long time because I struggled to find the strength to get up. I was so so tired. After I finally made my muscles move I started on my breakfast and walked back up to the firestation to get enough water.
Found the Lipstick there and I was so happy. She did camp at 415 and wanted to make it to the Messenger Flat Campground which was at mile 430. I was going with her because I needed our grandma to coddle me. I started before her but she passed me after I finally got reception and could call my family. I hiked up until mile 421 where the Poodle Dog Bush detour started. For the next 9 miles it’s supposed to be all over the trail but some people do go through and say it’s not that bad. I didn’t want to risk it because it was a lot of uphill and I tend to get less focused when I’m tired. The fruitflies were also annoying me like crazy, flying right in front of my eyes or coming up my nose, that I sometimes started batting them away like a madman. I wouldn’t want to touch poodle dog by accident while doing that. And the smell. I hate it. Especially when I’m trying to catch my breath, it just fills up my lungs and I don’t like it. So I took the detour which was a long paved road. Lots of poodle dog bush there as well but the road was broad enough that you wouldn’t be able to accidentally touch it. It was really hot and not much wind. I took a thousand breaks, finding shade whenever I could. I passed a monument that moved me tremendously.
It was for 2 firefighters that died saving a lot of people during the Station Fire of 2009. Their were diaries for each of the two men filled with beautiful messages written by loved ones and even strangers.
I wrote something myself and went on my way. What I saw after the next turn was a sour sight. The road went straight up. Climbing over Mount Gleason. It was so hard. My body had been through so much in so little time and I was over my limit already. I hauled myself up there, my nose almost grazing the pavement. Taking breaks multiple times but after what felt like forever I made it up there.
I hadn’t caught up with Lipstick during my hike but I also didn’t see her there. Either she went further or she didn’t take the detour. I cooked my dinner and afterwards she showed up. Again so happy to see her, I welcomed her at my bench. She loves benches so much. She had missed the poodle dog detour and told me that it sometimes was just hanging over the trail. An hour later out of the blue Pedro appeared. I knew by speaking to some hikers that he camped at mile 413 the day before so I was impressed that he did a 17 mile day. He was so proud of himself as he should be. I was happy that at least parts of the family were reunited. We went to bed early and planned on hiking out between 6 and 7 AM to reach the KOA.