8/4: Gabriel gets a Trail Name!

Really good day today! Woke up with a very wet quilt, thanks to camping next to a stream in a meadow. very cold out this morning, but started out, warmed up, and tried to get my “12 by 12” in…a personal goal of getting 12 miles under my belt by noon. Had a good pace going, and was able to take several breaks throughout the day…usually strategically located away from harsher mosquito stomping grounds. Spent one break letting my bag, bug tent & groundsheet dry out from the previous nights dew-soak. 

I made almost 25 miles today over up & down terrain, and would have made it a little farther, but…

As I came up a short hill, I looked up and saw two hikers heading the other way. The sun was in my eyes, so I wasn’t able to make them out, but thru recognized me, and the greeting along with the dance was unmistakeable: 

“Likeable Dug!!”

It was Gabriel & Marmot! (They were who I hiked with the very first day of the trail, and who I last saw heading put of Idyllwild…mile 187!

I was so happy to see them! I adore these two so much, such great hearts and wonderful souls. They had bounced ahead from Kennedy Meadows to Ashland, Oregon, and had been heading south since. I knew they had been a good distance ahead of me, and had no real chance of seeing them again on the trail…yet here they were! I knew by checking their blog & by trail rumor that they were southbounding for a bit, but running into them was a complete surprise. 

My hiking day was over! We found a nice spot to camp among some trees and on top of some very luxurious pine needles, made dinner together, and shared stories until the food was gone and the moon had risen. What a great night, and perfect ending to a good day. Sleep came easy, and even though we stayed up way past bedtime 10pm!) I slept like a baby. 

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