Mile 77 (Julian) – Mile 79.3~2.3 miles
Even sleeping on the floor with 8 people in a tiny room and Rosco snoring like a beast in the corner, I had the best night of sleep so far.

 
Still, I woke up feeling sad. Just before going to sleep last night we read Carmen’s Facebook post about how today’s hikers had upset her by trashing her bathroom and being generally ungrateful, which sucks. Some of us in the room were in the picture that went with the post and we were sad that we were part of the group that had seemed ungrateful to someone who had helped us so much. Wang suggested this morning that we go get her flowers and a card, which we thought was a great idea. Carmen was so gracious when we gave her the flowers and then called us assholes for making her cry. Ha! Then she made us delicious breakfast burritos. What a great lady. Heart of gold. 
No one wanted to get on trail too early today, knowing we had a long, exposed climb, so we hung out in town most of the day. I caught up on blog posts and emails and such, then bought groceries. I also bought postcards that didn’t make it into my bag. Oh yeah, and I finally went and got that free piece of pie!!
Mom’s Pies in Julian gives a free slice of pie with ice cream and a drink to each hiker who shows their permit and an i.d. What? Free pie? Yes, please! I got apple-cherry flaky pie with cinnamon ice cream and an apple cider. Oh, my. 
We hitched out of Julian around 3-ish. Wang hiked on immediately and I decided to stay back with the others hiding under a bridge until it cooled a bit more, although it was never very hot today. We had about three hours of sunlight left when we started hiking. It was a steady, but gradual climb. 
It seems we have entered, yet again, a completely new landscape. There aren’t as many wildflowers here, but now there is every variety of cactus. Where did they come from, cacti? So sharp and brilliant. Colorful! I love them. 
I had only climbed about 400 feet over 2-ish miles when I came across Domingo resting in a dry creek bed. It was such a pretty and peaceful place that I immediately wanted to stay. When he said he thought he would camp there for the night, I made up my mind to do the same. Then, Eddie came around the corner, followed shortly by Mia, Lorian, Rosco, Gary and Free Spirit. It’s a nice little group. 
So, we all staked out claim to some ground and pitched our tents. It’s pretty windy up here, but still nothing like two nights ago. We are somewhat protected in our little creek bed. The ground is soft and sandy, which is a nice change from the rocks we’ve been sleeping on for a few nights, though a little hard to stake out when your tent relies on tension to keep it standing. 
Ha! Just as I typed that, the wind kicked up and half my tent collapsed on me. And ya know, I looked at that side earlier and thought I should probably re-stake it and didn’t do it. Well, let that be a lesson to me. 
There is a chance of rain so I hope we don’t regret making camp in a dry creek bed! Ha! There aren’t many other options for flat ground on the side of a mountain. 
All in all, I’d say it was a completely successful first town stay! Such an adorable little town, too! I feel rested, rejuvenated and ready to be hiking again. I’m looking forward to having a full day tomorrow. 
Today I met: Mia from Denmark who shared her salty licorice candy. 
Today I learned:

– If you look at your tent set up and think something might need tone staked better, it probably does and you should probably just go ahead as take care of that now. 

– Phones charge faster in airplane mode, duh. 

Today’s hike really didn’t need to be powered, but it was powered nonetheless by the awesome playlist Hunter made me. If you’re on Spotify, I’ll be happy to share it with you.