I slept so much better having taken a Tylenol PM and I think the big meltdown helped too. We took a slow morning and went through the normal coffee, pack up routine and I spent a little time adjusting my feet. I cut the lump out of my other insole that was causing the blisters under my second toes and taped everything up. I noticed that my feet had swelled to the point my shoes no longer fit properly and I resolved to try to fix that when we got to Julian.
We hiked out a slow 3 miles to the road where we saw Happy Feet, Theresa and the rest of the group from Pioneer Mail topping off their water from the cache. We chatted for a while and they said they were going to try to make it to scissors crossing that day, which I thought was pretty gnarly at 17 miles in record heat. I wonder if they made it.
We bid our farewells and went our separate ways. I was kind of bummed to not have been able to camp/hike with them yesterday. They all seem very nice. I hope I see them again. It's hard for me to really let my guard down so far on this trip. I feel like I'm in 'mission mode' and don't know how to really get out of it.
Once we arrived at the road, we walked to the bathrooms to tidy up before trying to hitch a ride. I am already in love with pit toilets on a new level. It's nice to not have to do all your business outside sometimes. We walked back to the road and Josh held the bandana with "hiker to town" showing and I thumbed. We had three cars blow by us before a red truck stopped. We asked him if he could take us to Julian but he said he was to going two miles up. We opted to pass and stay with the water source incase we weren't able to hitch passed that.
We tried a couple more couple more cars before I posted to Facebook for help. A friend from the San Gorgonio message board posted that there was a shuttle that could take us for a fee. We called the number he provided and they said the could take us for $50. We looked around and decided that with the lack of traffic and how bad we wanted to be in a room, $50 was doable. We had to wait for an hour or so before they arrived and we took the time to book a hotel room, peruse the internet and talk to friends and family.
Finally the van arrived and we hopped in. I put Josh in the front so I didn't have to chit chat because I've gone full zombie lately. Once the guy found out we were local he said he'd give us a ride back to the trailhead with a discount, which was cool.
When we arrived at the Julian Lodge we were pleasantly surprised. It was quaint and clean and they gave is a 20% hiker discount! We got a room with two beds so we could sleep sprawled out. Things are tight in that little tent. Scootch over!!
The room was great, and I looked at myself in the mirror for the first time in days. I was sunburned and filthy! I've been diligent with baby wipes cleaning my feet, hands and face but still I look like I rolled around in the dirt.
Josh went to get us food and drinks and I took a glorious shower and watched the water run from brown to clear.We ate cheeseburgers and a huge salad which was delicious and drank 7up and powerade followed by Apple pie. After lunch we set out to do laundry and tossed all our clothes in the tub with some detergent. It took 5 rinses to get the water clean. We hug our clothes thruout the room to dry and took a nap. We spent the rest of the day resting and eating.
I text Brita to send me some gear to Warner Springs and she opted to come to Julian with it instead! I'm so happy to get to see her! She is also going to bring me some bigger shoes and compression socks which will help my foot swelling.
Right now it's 4:33 am on day 6 and I'm awake. I'm still debating on if I'll stay another night and make it a full zero, or hike out tomorrow evening to Rodriguez Spur water tank. We'll see how things go.