We're getting ready to leave the Big Bear Hostel. What a relaxing couple of days. The owner of the hostel, Grayson, actually picked everyone up from the trail. One of the reasons we decided to stay there. He said it was his mom's station wagon from '92 repurposed into the company shuttle and gave a little tour of Big Bear on the way. How awesome. Everyone here is a snowboard bum working their way through the summer. This may be the last bit of SoCal culture we see for a while. We got to the hostel at 9:30am and the house was PACKED with "hiker trash", as one of the guys that works here loves to refer to us as. It's nice when we get to a town and everyone we've met along the way is all together, hanging out. Mostly it's been nice to be under a roof, relaxing, having good conversation. Someone mentioned that they have a new appreciation for VHS tapes and it's true. It's the weirdest thing. The crackle and static, people laying around watching movies we watched as kids. The hostel workers listening to classic rock. The slam of a door. The crackle of butter sautéing in a pan. The smell of the dryer going and fresh sheets. The simple things that remind us of home, but we would never appreciate them if weren't out here. Everyone's getting into the groove of this journey. The reality of what we're doing is becoming more and more clear. I hear a lot of people saying "we just walked here from mexico!" In the beginning, people were rushing to be ahead or to not get behind their friends. Now everyone's loosening up, starting to go their own pace, meet new people, and make a life out of this journey.
It's unbelievable how much food we've eaten while here. We had a lot of good cooks, and an awesome gourmet chef, in the house and we made good use of the kitchen at the hostel. I think everyone appreciated being able to sit around a table together, eat fresh food, and use real utensils. The night we arrived, everyone chipped in and both kitchens were making massive amounts of food. Pasta, salad, and lasagna. We had a nice time at the local sports bar, filling half of the place. For breakfast yesterday, Brett and I made steak, eggs, and an entire loaf of French toast. We used 14 eggs for one meal! And ate it like it was nothing. Pizza in town with a few other hikers and then straight back to the house to make Tri Tip for everyone. Breakfast this morning at Grizzly Manor Cafe with the biggest portions I've ever seen. Pancakes twice the size of the plate. Mmmm. Enough talk of food, but I'm gonna miss it!
There's always a lot of talk about "the vortex." Not wanting to leave the comforts of town. We definitely felt that, but today I can't wait to get back on trail. We're on our way to Wrightwood, with a stop at the famous Cajon Pass McDonald's. It's practically on trail and there's even a trail marker for it. After Wrightwood, we're headed to Agua Dulce and Hiker Heaven at the Saufley's. We have a couple of friends joining the adventure there. Can't wait!