mile 200.5 – 210.5 (Ziggy and the Bear)
10 miles

I’m all out of sorts. I woke up early, excited to catch up with my friends, but apparently I didn’t start early enough. I could see them pull away on their shuttle to Big Bear City just as I was walking down the hill toward the hostel they stayed at last night. 

This morning was beautiful… and hot. I think I found the place where ALL the lizards live! The section of trail I hiked last night and this morning had SO MANY LIZARDS! Every three steps I took sent a whole congregation of lizards scurrying. “Hello, lizards!” I called after each of them. Big lizards, small lizards, beensy lizards. Cute. 

I only hiked 10 miles today and I’m exhausted. It’s the heat. It’s 98 here in the shade today. A scorcher. 

Hurry up and wait is the name of the game today. I practically ran to Ziggy and the Bear (a sort of hostel run by trail angels) to get there at 11:00, just as my friends drove away. Then I put my name on the list for the very next shuttle, 4:00, and then waited two hours for my packages to be retrieved. While I waited and waited for my shuttle, I did laundry in a bucket and went through my food bag, discarding the food I just won’t eat and sorting through the rest. Again, I have SO MUCH FOOD! Heavy! And again, not enough salty stuff, too much sweet. 

At this moment, I’m on a bus heading to Big Bear Lake, where Rusty, Lisa and GB will scoop me up and I will spend the night at GB’s family cabin. I might zero there tomorrow. It seems much too soon, but I’d like to hike out of there with them when they go. Plus, I left both pairs of my socks at Ziggy and the Bear’s. Duh. Someone on the morning shuttle will bring them up and I’ll get them back. 

I’m still feeling homesick today, even though I got to talk to Hunter, Louise and my friend Deb this morning. I think my expectations are rearing their little heads and I’m feeling dissatisfied with things as they are, thinking I should have found a more solid group by now, wondering why I haven’t gotten a trail name. Silly. Hunter gave me a good pep talk, and I think seeing the day-one crew will do me some good, too. Plus, I got an awesome resupply box with a letter and lots of goodies from home. I’m sure things will shift soon and I’ll feel differently. 

Today I met:
– Blue Moon, a retired guy who hiked the AT in 2013. It’s never, ever too late, y’all!

Today I learned:

– Sometimes you can’t outrun the grumpus. 
– If you do your wash in a bucket, don’t set your socks on a chair in the sun to dry and then just expect that you’ll remember to grab them before you leave. 

Today’s hike was powered by a good pep talk and this mantra: “Never quit on a bad day.”