May 26th
Hiker Heaven(454.4)-The Andersons(478.6)
Today’s Mileage: 24.2mi

We slept in a bit and I started hiking at 7:30am. Top Shelf and Blister decided to have breakfast at the cafe, so I went ahead knowing they’d catch up with me later. The trail was more of the rolling and winding hills in exposed sunlight. We are still lucky that we don’t have intense heat. It was in the 80’s, but there was a nice breeze to keep us motivated. It isn’t my favorite kind of trail and the day felt really long today. It’s the kind of trail where you hike gradually uphill for hours and you can see the trail winding far ahead. It’s frustrating for me because I can see where I’m headed and I know it will take forever to get there. Here’s basically how it looked most of the day.

We knew our end destination was the Andersons, which is the party version of the Saufleys. I wasn’t psyched about this, but we found out there is a quite area where I’ll be able to camp. At mile 11 for the day, I had lunch. While there, Top Shelf, Blister, and General Zod caught up and joined me. We hiked on and spread out again and 7mi later was a cache that is supplied by the Andersons. Caches usually only have water, but this one had beers and soda. Unfortunately, I don’t drink either, so I made a Powerade. Top Shelf arrived first and then me. It was a great surprise and we had a lot of fun hanging out there and watching the reactions as the other hikers arrived.

We ended up with about 10 hikers there before I finally got up to finish the last 7mi of the day. It was a nice level and downhill trail that looked like this.

The guys stayed back a bit and really enjoyed the beer. The word is that the Andersons don’t want you to arrive sober and I think that was accomplished with the guys. I told them I’d take one for the team and hang out at the Andersons while they have fun tonight and tomorrow. It’s actually going to work out better than the Saufleys. I am camped in a wonderfully quiet area, they made taco salad for all the hikers for dinner, and I get to relax in the living room and journal and watch shows tomorrow:)

We are going to play it by ear and will either take a zero tomorrow or hike half the day. I know it seems like a lot of zeros/neros lately, but these experiences are just as much a part of the trail as the scenery, so we want to take it all in. Plus, we’re still ahead of the herd by a couple days and there isn’t a hurry to get to the Sierra snow.

As a side note, I want to thank Scott for the great care packages I received at the Saufleys. The bars are great and all the other hikers were quite envious of the organic Mary Jane meals that he sent. THANKS Scott!

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