I will definitely be buying a tent for my 50 day hike. That seems like it should be a no-brainer, but a lot of people don't. To save on pack weight, they just bring a bivvy bag or something like it; because a tent is not really a necessity, but more of a luxury. It's a luxury I need though, I've decided that for sure. Unlike my first morning, (when I bolted as soon as I woke up, as if a bear had been lurking in the bushes all night, contemplating whether to eat me or not) I lounged for awhile, built a fire (I probably shouldn't admit that--but I didn't see anything that said not to) and took my time packing everything up. There's just something so much more normal feeling about waking up in a tent...plus bears can't watch you all night. ;)
I headed back down the trail, this time knowing not to take the muddy route, so at least I had some new scenery. Before I knew it, I was in the parking lot. All done. I had planned on hiking something else because it was so early...but I was toast. Better to just admit it and cut the day short. The only thing I was really excited about were the bathrooms. (TMI, sorry. I know there will come a time when there will not be a toilet when I need it, but I'm just not ready for that experience yet)
I called Ken as soon as I had cell phone service, and let him know I'd be home early afternoon. Maybe we could even go out on the lake? (It was one of the hottest days of the summer, and Ken's day off) About an hour away from home I stopped for a cheeseburger, and when I came out my car wouldn't start. I called Ken to describe the 'symptoms', to which Ken concluded, "Sounds like your alternator's going out". (I asked him later, "How do you know these things?"..."I just do", he replied, like freaking James Bond or something) A very nice young man jumped my car, and it started right up. "Don't worry, Ken, it's fixed!" (shows you how much I know about alternators) Ken informed me that it would most likely lose power as I was driving...but not to panic-- just stay in the right hand lane so I can pull to the side. Don't you love driving I-405? Isn't it great how every exit is an 'exit only', so that it's impossible to stay in the slow lane? I wouldn't say I was panicking, but I was not having fun. And sure enough, the power went out and I had to pull over in a tow-away zone.
Poor Ken...instead of lounging on the lake in the sun, he would be shopping for alternators and driving to Millcreek to rescue his wife. I've said before that I hate being the damsel in distress, and I do. But I am thankful...EXTREMELY thankful, to have a man to come help me when I am. That would be Ken...not the stranger that picked me up on the freeway and dropped me off at the nearest restaurant...though, I'm thankful for him too. When I called my friend Debbie while sipping my mojito at 'Canyons' (and feeling very sorry for Ken; but not having a drink wasn't going to help him any, right?) she yelled in my ear, "YOU GOT IN THE CAR WITH A STRANGER?!!!" (Ok, Debbie, I know you weren't yelling...but your tone was yelling, you have to admit) In my defense, what are the stats of people getting killed while walking on the freeway, vs people murdered by serial killers? Plus, I figured this guy had to be a do-gooder, because I was a smelly mess. Needless to say, I made it home alive. Ken got to the car just before it got towed, threw in a new battery, got it home, and installed the alternator. He may not be James Bond, but he's pretty dang close. ;)