5/10/17 18.3 miles PCT mile 454.4
Just kidding, I can always complain. For starters Matt did not brush his teeth, eat breakfast, or go to the bathroom this morning and I was still ready before him. He says, “I like to only do one thing at a time.” No kidding! He also said, “this is the only chance I have to not rush.” I’ve never seen Matt in a rush so I’m not sure what he is talking about. With that said, we were still on the trail by 7:15, I had a tight schedule for us to adhere to. In Matt’s mind my time lines are arbitrary, but someone has to keep this train moving. We needed to walk 8 miles, get a hitch into Acton to pick up some packages from the post office, hitch back to the trail, walk 10 more mikes, eat dinner, grocery shop, and then stay the night at Hiker Heaven in Aqua Dolce.
It was foggy when we set off with no visibility as we walked from ridge to ridge. The fog began to lift and we could see down into the valley of Acton. Our conversation drifted to one concerning friends with benefits, which then took a dark turn. Matt during his darker times on the trail wonders if my plan all along was to take him out here and run him into the ground. He suggests that, I must be aggravated that he is doing so well, foiling my plans. As we were walking along the ridges I said, yes I could easily push you off the cliff. I pondered this task as we strolled on and eventually came to the conclusion that it would not benefit me to dispose of Matt. The monetary value alone is not enough, Matt is also carrying the tent, I think he did this by design. There was no talk of who would carry it, he just took it. Pretty sneaky on his part really, I always have to stay with him. I also decided when being questioned by police my account of the incident wouldn’t collaborate and I would mess my story up and end up going to jail. Also I wouldn’t be able to raft the Grand Canyon, so I’ll keep him around. During all this talk Matt stops and says, “you better go ahead.” Sometimes I wish I was hiking with me on the trail becuase I provide a lot of material for Matt to write about. I sure hope Matt doesn’t trip and fall now as I’m gonna be the prime suspect.
We made it to the road to Acton at 10:20. Right on time for my imaginary schedule. We stood at the road waiting for a hitch. Everytime we are hitching and a few cars speed past us we both say, I hate hitching. After 40mins an older man with a 12 sticker on his back window stopped for us. He is a hawks fan from Snohomish who lives in Acton part time building sets for The Mindy Project. He dropped us off at the post office in Acton where curious onlookers asked where we were going and what we were doing. Not a lot of hikers come into Acton so we were treated like smelly celebrities. One woman said, “you have bear spray right.” I said, no they are just black bears we are not worried. “Hmmmm ok, I would get some bear spray.” As the woman was leaving the post office she popped her head back in to say, “for gods sake get some bear spray.” We said ok, both knowing we wouldn’t. As I was running back and forth between the post office and the market where we ordered calzones a man said, “do you need a ride back to the trail.” Yes!!! He was the manager at the KOA park that is next to the trail. He waited 10 minutes for us as our calzones were baking. We ate our calzones at the KOA got a coffee drink, chatted with another hiker and then left at 1:30. All in all I was pleased with our timing as we only had 10 miles to go.
The next few miles started in a burn area and then steadily climbed from ridge to ridge. The grass was overgrown from a long wet winter.
The walk from the tunnel to Aqua Dolce was through the Vasquez Rocks State Park.
We made our way into the small town of Aqua Dolce where we had dinner and grocery shopped. I roamed the aisles for a long time agonizing over what food I would buy. I had a hard time deciding what I would eat for dinner. Unbelievably, Matt was ready before me as I strolled the aisles with an empty cart. We then walked the additional mile to Hiker Heaven to sleep. Hiker Heaven is run by a couple that opens up their property to hikers. It’s really pretty incredible what they have done, they do your laundry, let you shower, use wifi, use loaner clothes, and watch T.V. They have a few campers spread around and a single wide trailer for hikers to use. We slept in a horse trailer, which was great because we didn’t have to set up our tent.