Robin wakes to rain at 3 am, panicking, and grant informs me that it has been raining for an hour. Panic turns to internal scolding that I know better, and reassurances to myself that rain always sounds more intense on the tent than it really is, so I wasn't likely to be washed over the ravine in a desert flash flood...mmmmm sleep.
For a change I let grant decide when it's time to get up... 7:30 rolls around and its finally time. When asked how he liked deciding when to get up, he replies "it sucks". " why?" "Cause we are really late". Mark your words baby :)
Rain, mist walk about 4.5 miles to paradise cafe. Last mile is pissing rain along the highway, trucks rumbling by. Resort to a constant "one two three four five six seven eight" cadence to keep me marching. Get to cafe and there are cheers, waves, hugs from all our trail friends. Coffee, nice waitresses, warm, best morning ever! Others who put the serious miles in had hit them for dinner the night before then were invited to sleep on the porch at closing time. They were all finishing their second meal and maybe a few breakfast beers. Good time had by all, except this is when we almost got bamboozled out of our plans!
Due to a wildfire in 2013, a section of the trail is closed here. There is long detour we had planned on but all our friends were skipping it and hitch hiking. Road walking is dangerous for a large part too, so it was a safety thing, plus we got a juicy invitation from our warrior friends we could not turn down. Hem an haw, hem and haw, delay...talk to others. We decided to walk half the alternate, hitchhike into town, hang with out friends, then walk the rest in the morning. We were confident in our detour route, hooked up with a new crowd, and away we went.
The first few miles of highway had a wide shoulder far away from traffic, then We scooted over to the power lines which had a dirt path underneath for a few miles. We ended at lake hemet, got some coffee, then a two-car hitch to idyllwild. Locals are saints! One woman even pulled over to give us cookies! Unbelievable.
Beers, hiker trash house party, some sleep. Boy is hiking hard!