Monday, June 29, 2015

May 24 Day 30 Hiker Problems - Leaving Cuba

Today ended up being somewhat amusing.  It started with a leisurely morning in the hotel room, sleeping in, catching up on journaling, and trying to will the WIFI to work.  We had agreed to have a hiker breakfast at the nearby restaurant when it opened, something we had confirmed the night before.  When we actually went there it was closed.  Well done.  We found another spot and ate big meals, I got my usual, pancakes with eggs and bacon, and others got giant breakfast burritos.

Scallywag, Hot Springs, and Old School were looking to at least zero in Cuba, Old School maybe longer as he had to order some new gear. Guy and I were antsy to head out and catch up to Grim, who would inevitably pass us, and Bear Claw, who had already gotten a ride back and was on trail in the early AM, in Ghost Ranch, our next break.  We did some errands in town, which mostly consisted of me looking for Heet, the fuel I use for my cat food can stove.  I had mentioned my search early on and Old School said that he had checked the gas station across the street from the hotel with no luck, so I decided to just walk downtown until I found a gas station that had some.

An hour or more later and I had not found any Heet!  Though I had had the privilege of suddenly getting cell reception and needing to change a doctors appointment that I had made a year ago, not realizing I would be on trail. The service was very weak and I spent a frustrating 15 minutes on the phone with a frustrated woman who could not hear me well.  I had to ensure her of the fact that I could not call another time when I had better signal before the date of my appointment.  This was the only time.  I had to remind her politely that we were both suffering here with my poor signal and needed to calmly work together on this.  It was very frustrating.  I was all riled up and rained on by the time I got back to the hotel and decided to try that gas station across the street from the hotel.  I wanted to laugh and punch something when I found the Yellow bottle of Heet just sitting there.  It would have taken me 5 minutes.  I bought a small comb as well so Guy could tame his mane.
(Hot Springs taming the beast)

In a huff I walked into the laundromat where Hot Springs and Scallywag were taking care of their clothes, and Guy was napping, waiting patiently for me.  I told my story while Hot Springs brushed Guy's hair.  They lamented my not so terrible life and we all laughed about it afterwards.
(Water everywhere!)

When the clouds and rain seemed to break, Guy and I said our goodbyes and finally left Cuba.  We were in no rush, obviously, and were going to do the 1.5 day section in 2.5.  There was a seemingly constant dumping of snow in the mountains north of Chama, so we needed to let it melt off anyway.  Everyone was slowing way down.
(Lush forests!)

I think we did something like 8 miles to the trail head and found a nice little place to camp, sheltered by the trees. 

 Guy helped me set up my new tarp, explaining the art of tarp camping as he taught me to tie bowline knots.

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