Nobody was interested in leaving camp this morning. Even Early Bird (Formerly Alyssa) was not pushing out of camp before 7:00am. Today was Alex's Birthday. We all got up to sing happy birthday while he was still in his tent. We gave him a snickers bar with a candle in it. The sun started to come out shortly before I started to pack up my tent. I left it up to dry out a bit, but the clouds started to roll back in so I decided to book it out of camp. I nearly ran the next 6 miles where the next water source was (at a Ranger Station) in just under 2 hours. Mainly to stay warm, but the trail also significantly dropped in elevation over these miles and running downhill is easier in the knees than walking slowly. It was windy and cold, so I hurried to use the outhouse and refill my water. Back on the trail, it immediately warmed up as the sun broke through. I was hiking with ST and we both had to take off our warm jackets not a mile away from the Ranger Station.
Around 11 miles for the day I stopped to dry all the things. My pack kind of exploded everywhere again (picture is after I packed most of my stuff away). Eventually I used my umbrella (first time of the trip!!!) because the sun was so intense. Soon after I left, the group caught up to me. This also included a couple of Alex's friends who met him out of the trail, Reah and Lani.
They flew past me at a break necking pace. I hurried along with the intention of going to the Acton KOA and getting some ice cream. When I arrived at a parking lot along the trail (mile 14), there was the group and a table full of good food. Raeh and Lani had brought a ton of food and beer to help celebrate Alex's birthday. It was a really good time. Especially after the 3 days of cold weather we just went through. The entire time, we all joked that we weren't going to make it out of the parking lot and that we should just setup camp where we were. After a few hours of relaxing, we were back on the move. Reah and Lani joined us for the night out. Our plan was at least another 4 miles. We made it 5.6, which was at an awesome seasonal creek bed. Cowboy camping tonight. Everyone made it to about 10:30 pm before crashing. [wpvideo 4oeAZVr5]