Unexpected zero: The rain fell heavily all night but began to fade as we awoke. Leaving tents standing we packed our bags and grabbed a hitch to Ridgecrest. The lady who kindly picked us up told us of the incoming weather and how it was due to linger for the next few days while dropping even more snow on the Sierras. Just what we need. Ridgecrest, however, was sunny and clear though strong winds cut through. We visited Walmart and ogled at the insanely cheap food. Secretly we bought Prof his favourite pie, lemon meringue, for his birthday as well as boxes of wine and doughnuts for an evening celebration. We then headed to the Chinese buffet which was cheap, all you can eat, and a bit much for the stomach.

Stuffed to the brim and fighting off sleep we then went to McDonald’s to use and abuse the WiFi. Not knowing how full we were the manager, a fan of PCT hikers, brought us free apple pie and 50 nuggets. We killed time here arranging things for our pre Sierras road trip before grabbing a lift with Gary, a kind soul we met in Walmart, back to Walkers Pass. It was blowing a storm but Gary joined us for wine and pie, and eventually people decided against walking on. Molly and I, however, were not keen to stay in the wind and walked 0.3 miles up the trail to a sheltered spot between trees.