Day 18 and 19, 7/25 and 7/26
Double zero in Salida. Wake up, eat continental breakfast, walk a mile to hostel to book another night. Call mom and dad, talk on phone, check up on Facebook, Instagram, blogs. Walk around town with hiker friends and Dan who’s our trail dad, check out shops, eat pizza and drink beer at the local brewery/pizza shop. Stuff our faces, stomach is about to explode, walk back to hostel and crash on the couch. People walking in and out with food, beer, groceries, talking loudly and happily, laughing and smiling. Loving life one hiker day at a time, never wanting it to end, trail towns rock my world. Lunch made me so full I hardly need dinner, but instead I stuff the biggest ice cream sandwich you’ll ever see in my mouth. Food, food, food, reading, talking, hanging, relaxing. Everyone is best friends, loving life and loving the adventure. Bed time in a real bed, bunks stacked on bunks, so many beds in one room. Catching up on blogs, scrolling through phone, lights are out and finally it’s time to sleep.
Up at 8am, Dan/trail dad buys us breakfast on the riverfront. Waffles, hash browns, sausage, coffee, stomach stuffed to the brim again. Hanging out at hostel, fun times with fun people, relaxing outside, relaxing on couches. People, people, people, bright, shining, smiling faces. Walking around town again, finding the perfect hiker necklace, spending so much money on food, stuffing so much food into stomach. Back to Safeway for more groceries, back to deli for fresh veggie sandwich. 20 people smashed into hostel living room, talking talking talking some more, looking at maps, comparing gear, telling stories, hiker life is so perfect. Back to restaurant for beers and sweet potato fries, get dared to jump in muddy river. Taking off shoes and jumping in river, everyone staring while eating their dinner. Back to ice cream shop, more sugar, more food, back to hostel, more friends, more laughs. Crowding back into living room, guitar playing songs, voices are loud, laughs are often, everyone eating, everyone loving life.
Finally it’s bed time, it’s been such a good two days. Salida has welcomed me and made me feel home. Town days are amazing, they pull together the trip, yet if it wasn’t for the trail, the towns wouldn’t be so cool. Goodnight, goodnight, may everyone sleep well. No bugs, no animals, a real bed, a real pillow. Life is amazing, I’ve never been so happy, hiking is addicting, I never want it to end. The hiker community is the best, a tight group of friends, everyone loves everyone, all want to help all. Life is too good to be true, now it’s back to the trail tomorrow after a full nights rest, goodnight, sleep tight, in the morning we all shall hike.