It was still a bit chilly and wet when I woke up, so I did as much packing as I could still inside my tent. I believe this was the morning I figured out how to roll up my air mattress without pulling it out of the tent first and without emerging from under the rainfly myself.
Speaking of rainfly, it was quite damp as it was an extremely foggy morning. Water water everywhere in the air blocking all the possible views. I did towel down the tent before I packed it up because I knew I would be able to wash my towel that day.
There isn’t much to be said about walking 5 miles downhill in a cloud except that it didn’t take particularly long, there were a surprising number of day hikers given the rain and threat of snow, and a huge section had to be marked with ribbons because loggers had torn the hillside apart.
One lady who I’d passed coming down was returning to her car with her dog at the exact moment I arrived at the road, and I managed to yogi a ride the mile down to Callahan’s Lodge.
Callahan’s Lodge is like a little hiker haven. Even if you don’t stay, you can, for a small fee, use the hiker area in the barn. Inside, there’s a full bathroom with shower, towels, shampoo, soap, washer, dryer, laundry soap, and a space heater. After eating breakfast in the restaurant, I took over that little room. Throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon, I made thorough use of this space. I got me and my stuff all clean, packed up the food from the box I had shipped myself there, and then went back to the restaurant for lunch.
I spotted Owl and Phoenix at another table just finishing up their own lunch, and they soon came to join me. A lady they knew came to pick them up a bit later to begin their journey to socal. When I said goodbye to them here, it was the last time I saw them in person. I celebrated the occasion with a creme brulee.
It was nearly time for sunset by the time I was fully packed and charged and ready to go. I hiked uphill a half mile when I realized I did not have my visor or sunglasses. So I ran back down to the little room and indeed found them buried under the towels I had washed on behalf of the lodge.
Light was fading fast as I began the proper climb up the underused side trail that connected the rail company’s lot with the PCT up on the ridge. It wasn’t exactly a friendly track. Straight uphill and easily lost.
Soon after dark, I was working my way by headlamp light along the side of a ridge near (and often intersecting) a road that connected several residences on said ridge (through whose yards the trail sometimes passed) when the snow began. It was light at first and soon developed into flurries. I was glad to finally find the first campsite so I could set up my tent and crawl inside out of the cold. It was a perfectly fine night once I was ensconced in my sleeping bag with a bag full of boiling hot water tucked in with me.
Total distance: 11 miles
Trail progress: 12 miles