July 9, 2017
Lookout Rock – Big Creek Road (1257.41-1260.99)
Well, we are definitely taking it easy. We woke up to watch the sunrise from Lookout Rock (which was absolutely gorgeous), and then immediately returned to the tent and went back to bed for a couple more hours. When we finally dragged ourselves out of camp, we only had to walk a few miles to Big Creek Road, which leads to the community of Buck’s Lake. We had been offered a place to stay in a nearby cabin by some locals, and they sent someone to the road crossing to pick us up.
The cabin was a sweet, sweet paradise. There was laundry, a shower, Internet, and mattresses to sleep on. We arrived close to lunch time, and while everyone else was making sandwiches of various lunch meats, they made a grilled cheese sandwich just for me. It was amazing. After I ate, I had a shower with copious amounts of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and even a face scrub. It was the cleanest I’ve felt in a while. We put laundry in, and our hosts provided us with clothes to wear, and you have no clue how good clean cotton feels on your skin after months of wearing the sake polyester blends every single day.
We went into town to investigate rumours of free beer for hikers at the Buck’s Lake Lodge, and they turned out to be true. The whole community is extremely hiker friendly. It’s amazing, and I can’t believe we nearly passed it by. We sat for a while drinking our beers, using the WiFi, and chatting to some of the locals. Eventually, we wandered down the street to the convenience store to restock on snacks to get us to Belden, and then headed back to the cabin.
When we first arrived, Rocket Man was also at the cabin, which we were super happy about because we thought he might have pushed through and we wouldn’t see him again. When we got back from town, Sticks (another hiker we’ve been leap frogging with this past section) was also there. Later, another couple (Nati and Valeria) arrived as well. It was so much fun to hang out with other hikers again. The herd pretty much exploded after Kennedy Meadows and the trail has been a much lonelier place since then. We were served an absolutely amazing dinner of salad, corn on the cob, cheesy eggplant casserole, and burgers. My body was so happy. After dinner, four more hikers showed up: French Pussy, Pretty Boy, Sahar, and I forget the fourth guy’s name (sorry). We hadn’t had so many hikers in one place in such a long time. It was a really awesome afternoon/evening of just hanging out and talking with everyone.
Not long after dinner, hiker midnight hit, and everyone started getting ready for bed. Since we were the first ones to arrive, Gummies and I got to snag the bed in the little guest house (actually, Rocket Man was there before us, but he graciously offered it to us). It had a memory foam mattress and was soooooo comfy. Everyone else slept on foam mattresses on the deck.
I really cannot believe the kindness that total strangers show to us out here. Our hosts were incredibly kind, generous people, that were just genuinely happy to meet us, talk to us, and help us out. Every day on the trail renews my faith in humanity a little bit, and makes my soul so happy. This really is magic.