Day Seven

Today's miles: 9
Total miles: 86

I woke up when it was still dark, with my dreams still on the trail, and realized I was in bed. And warm. And clean. No early morning wake up, no aching feet and stiff muscles. I slept until the sun woke me, and the feel of it through the breeze of the trees outside made me remember how I used to love it so. It beckoned me to bask in the rays, its warmth a siren's call. But I resisted its lure and lay in bed enjoying the feel of heavy blankets on my legs.

For Katie and I, 7:30 was sleeping in by three hours, so we were awake and hungry for our Bed and Breakfast treat in the parlor. Homemade granola, fresh fruit, eggs florentine and homemade toast. We chatted with a few other hikers who had also stayed the night. It's easy to spot a hiker, even without their tell-tale pack. We all walk with what I call the "hiker hobble", the slow, careful movement of someone who has spent many days walking under weight and over blisters.

We checked out of our delightful B&B at noon and spent a few hours in the library, watching the sun track across the sky.

At 4:30 we caught a hitch back to Scissors Crossing from a lady who told us she tries to drive hikers back and forth to town each day. She told us she loves this time of year because hikers are "the friendliest people she's ever met." Katie and I think trail angels are the friendliest people we've ever met. Small kindnesses like these reaffirm our love of the human race and our natural tendency to help one another out, with no personal gain. It's very uplifting.

We began hiking up the San Felipe hills at dusk, when the weather turned pleasant and our legs were fresh from a night off. We made great time - we did nine miles in three hours, hiking in the dark with headlamps along the dry desert cliffs.

We passed many other hikers camping for the night and met some new ones: Julia and Giddyup, Nate and Games, TJ, Hitch, and Happy Hour. Our "old crew" is still a day ahead of us, and we think perhaps we've lost them for a while.

We decided to cowboy camp tonight, under the stars. It was 9pm and surprisingly mild outside, with no wind and no sound. Lights from the cars far below us flickered in the distance.

We spread our sleeping bags and pads out on our ground tarp and snuggled inside them, looking up. The sky stretched from one horizon to another, a giant bowl from our high perch on top of the mountain. The brilliant stars, satellites and meteors filled our eyes as we lay there in silence, contemplating our place in the world.

I could feel the dirt between my toes, the air against my skin, the stars in my eyes, and never had I felt so connected to the universe as in that moment.