mile 566.3 (Hwy 58) – 569.3
3 miles 
I asked for a late check out today so that I could stay in bed as long as I wanted. It was glorious! 
When I woke up around 7:30, Blazer had already packed up and was heading to breakfast. He wanted to get on trail early. 
I walked to the lobby for the continental breakfast and found Blazer and Dudders sitting together. After a waffle, eggs, bacon and coffee, I went straight back to the bed. Blazer headed to the trail. 
I stayed in bed working on blog posts and talking to Hunter until almost 1:00. Then I dressed and packed really quickly and walked next door for lunch. 
It’s kind of nice to be alone again, completely on my own schedule. After lunch, I moseyed over to the bakery, where I found about ten other hikers hanging out. I plugged my phone in and hung out with them on the patio, speculating about the snow in the Sierras and comparing strategies. Some people will just hang out until the snow clears more, others want to go on through, and there’s a group who are going to take a week off and hitch to the beach to hike part of the California Coast Trail. I’m going to wait until I get there and decide, but my loose plan is to take two or three days off in Kennedy Meadows to rest and gather my wits for the next leg, find a group to stick with and then push on through to the Bishop/Independence area. Hunter is visiting in a couple of weeks and I’d like to meet him in that area. 
I went back inside the bakery to check my phone charge and I saw Mama Sita. It’s always good to see her. We chatted for awhile and she started calling trail angels to find a ride to the post office. We eventually found someone willing to take Sita to the post office and then take me to the trailhead. When she showed up to grab Sita, she had Rusty with her. Hiker world is so small. 
Lisa flew home today to stay with her mother. She’ll rejoin Rusty when her foot heals. She’s bummed, but has a good attitude about it, much better than I would, I’m sure. She says that even if it takes a whole month to heal, she’ll still have almost three full months after that to be out here again. Well, when you put it that way. 
Landy, our trail angel, shuttled Rusty and me to the Hwy 58 trailhead and we started hiking around 5:30. Thanks, Landy! Rusty is fast, so it didn’t take long for home to leave me in his dust. I thought I would catch up with him where he camped, but three miles in I found a charming campsite tucked into some Joshua trees. 
Now, here I am, camped early. I’m glad I stopped, because just as I started to lay out my bedroll the wind picked up. Thankfully, someone who came before me built a little rock and stick wall between the trees, which is blocking a good deal of the wind. I noticed a few spiders crawling on me, so I’m crouched all the way down into my sleeping bag typing this out. I think they won’t be a problem once I turn my phone light off. I hope. 
Today I met two people from Nashville! Tennessee, a 20-something guy who went to MBA. And Matador, a perhaps 20-something woman who lived in East Nashville for a couple of years. They’re both part of the group hitching to the beach to hike part of the California Coast Trail. 
Today I learned that it never hurts to be very specific with your waitress. 
Today’s very short hike was powered by a late checkout. 

 Note: I’m currently in the mountains with no cell service and poor wifi. Pictures are not currently possible, but I will add photos to the posts as soon as possible.