SOBO Day 80 – Etna, 0kms

Today was spent lounging and reading and eating in the green shady southern feel garden at Hiker Hut. Pinecone and I (Quiz) slept in till 8, which in hiker world is laaate. Not that we had much to do, with good luck UPS will deliver my trekking pole tips today and we can be on our way, but according to all the locals they are usually a day late. I spent most of the day in the garden regularly checking in the office to see if the post had come.

Town gown


Dave was roused early by hunger and peddled off to the diner we ate in yesterday. Mushy PC and I were all feeling particularly lazy and finally walked 2 blocks into town to get coffee and pastries. We sat out on the Main Street eating and saw one human and 3 deer, it’s so quiet! PC shopped while I used the computers in the local library to free up space on my phone. It was a great was to eavesdrop on the community but I didn’t hear any juicy gossip.

Bizniz


Once we had finished our town chores we ate leftover spaghetti and salad from last night. 3 spoons into one billy with all the food mixed together, still tasted great 👍. PC and Mushy went exploring on bikes while I wrote postcards and waited on my parcel. Dave serenaded everyone on his guitar and learnt a Byrds song.
Finally at 4pm my package came and we snapped into action. To get the old tip off I boiled it for 5 mins and it slipped off surprisingly easily. We packed up our gear and I called trail angels to try and get a lift to the trailhead. We were in luck, Sarah a local conservationist and biologist picked us up at 6pm from the magical green grove and drove us to another on top of the mountains. She was immediately likeable and like Terri Anderson made us want hugs and miss our mum. She told us about all the communes in the area: Buddhist, hippies, feminist, Russian Orthodox. She also spoke of her conservation work with the local Native American tribe and the backlash she got from the farmers. None one in her organisation could drive marked cars because their tyres had been slashed.

The XX is the symbol for Jefferson the proposed 51st US state


We got to the trail head at 7 and decided to cowboy camp on a ledge about 10m above the road. Dave who had been distant all day told us he didn’t want to keep hiking and was going to hitch back to town. This was not the first time he has spoken about this and he has been missing his usual speed and drive while walking. We convinced him to stay the night and make up his mind tomorrow morning but not that he had said his secret he seemed happier and lighter and we knew he had already decided. We will miss you Dave 😭😘, your serenades, jokes and generosity as you have helped us out countless times. Dave’s only having a break though as he plans to tackle the Sierra in August.

Bye 6strings!!!


Waiting for the sun to set


The wind died down as soon as we went to bed and then the bugs came out in force! We tried the sleeping bag tent tactic but sometime early on PC woke me to help put up the tent. I also woke repeatedly throughout the night hearing animals in my pack, they had managed to get in the top but got none of my food. Even after reenforcing the top I slept lightly and woke up at the slightest crackle of plastic. It’s been a weird day.

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