Eight turned to nine. Nine turned to ten. And sure enough, ten turned to eleven.
The magic cooler that had disappeared at 7 the previous evening, had reappeared by morning. Despite being jacked up on Mountain Dew, I chose to wake up slow.
I wandered around the camp site a bit, finding another photogenic crop of wildflowers. I was sure I was the last one left. But I was wrong.
Steve-O was also hanging around. We killed an hour just shooting the breeze.
An Orange County native, he's out here in Chuck Taylor's and literally the cheapest serviceable gear list you could imagine.
Hands down, this guy is the embodiment of chill, and one of the more memorable hikers I've met so far. He's not thru-hiking, just going as far as he cares to. Last year he did a Southern California stretch leading up to where we were this morning.
When he feels like he's had enough for one summer, he'll just go get another job doing something else.
Rock on man.
With the late start, my chances of hiking 18 miles to Agua Dulce by a reasonable hour were dwindling.
Two hikers came by the magic cooler while I was packing up. The married pair, Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, planted the seed to stop at the KOA just 8 or 9 miles from where I slept last night.
I didn't need much convincing.
On the way to KOA, the legendary Coppertone made a second appearance, with rootbeer floats in hand.
With so much time to spare, we all killed another hour discussing a future essay topic outside of his mobile home.
KOA, is a thru-hiker's dream: laundry machines, showers, microwave burritos...
We have it all here.
And the limited miles added an extra element of relaxation to the day, all the sugar and sitting I could handle.
Before the day was done, I even expanded my horizons a bit more than I could've expected when I woke up this morning. Tiger Lily gave us all an impromptu yoga lesson. I've got a long way to go, but I can dig it.
PCT Mile 444.