Mile 1888 to 1904
We wake knowing we face 6 miles of up towards Diamond Peak. Kevin soaks his feet in Summit Lake and tends to blisters. He is convinced my suggestions of draining and taping have been a complete and utter failure. I am tempted to deploy the economic and political trick of relative comparison to a mythical event. His problems clearly are the result of earlier bad decisions and if I had not arrived it would now be much much worse. So, what appears on the surface as total failure is actually my greatest achievement. Quick, shake my hand so you can thank me.
As we hike our way over the ridge we become a couple of Huckleberry Hounds. They are everywhere and make forward progress impossible. We drop packs and start picking. Our tongues become corpse-like purple from their delicious juicy goodness. A bear somewhere is ticked we have raided his patch. Stomachs aching from gluttony, we waddle on.
We eventually reach the side road leading to Shelter Cove. Following our GPS, we nervously walk along then cross the active railroad tracks. Kevin is sure we are re-enacting a scene from Stand By Me, and I am pretty sure I will end up as the dead body hit by a train.
At the Shelter Cove store they quickly find the new external battery package but unfortunately not the package with six days of food. I am told to come back in a half hour when they will have more staff and can spend more time looking. In the mean time I buy a six pack of root beer to down while we watch the show of weary thru-hikers interacting with hordes of RV driving campers and fishermen.
I return to the store to begin again the quest for my food box. After a frantic round of looking the woman declares the box is not here, as if that statement would somehow satisfy. When I point to her open book and ask how my name got in it, she says in a tone that clearly questions my educational upbringing that of course they log the packages when they arrive. Bingo! Other staff members, clearly more experienced at playing hide and seek eventually find our package.
We take over a picnic table and sort the pile of food, unclear how we will fit it all in our packs. I get change for laundry and showers, which we will probably not do until tomorrow. Camping is $8 per tent. That means a one man ultra-light tent costs the same as a 12 person gypsy circus tent. Since we are cowboy camping, I am not sure how much to pay. The mosquitoes make us regret not setting up tents. We hide under our way too hot sleeping bags.
Tomorrow we plan a lazy day of washing, lake swimming and ice cream consuming. We will hike out in the afternoon for a short relaxing day.