It was checkout time before we left the hotel. Management wasn’t upset about the broken glass. They called the local window dealer and got a price quote for a replacement. The responsible party paid the hotel for the window and we all went back to Black Bear Diner for a late round of breakfast.
Right after we crossed the parking lot over to the grocery store and did some shopping. In the time we were there over a dozen hikers cycled through the place, most of which we had not seen before.
I chatted with all the new faces who were hanging outside the store while Bushtit shopped for herself. One dude had a similar situation to mine. He injured himself back on the Sierras and had to rest for a couple of weeks while his female companion continued to hike on and he met up with her when he was healed up.
I actually ran in to the store quick and purchased some deodorant and put it on for the first time on the trail. I’m heading back to civilization so I’ve gotta get back in the swing of it. Don’t want to stink out my parents and their car anymore than I have to.
Bushtit and I then walked over to Black Bear Diner again to meet my parents. They pulled up just as a crowd of other pct hikers and curious tourists surrounded us. I left Bushtit and the others to entertain questions while I hobbled over to see mom and dad.
We went in the diner again for lunch. Mom and dad ate real food while Bushtit ate a banana cream pie and I had a huckleberry milkshake.
We then hopped into the car and drove back to Castella to drop Bushtit off on the trail. There was no one else at the PCT campsite when we arrived.
It was a sad departure. I still didn’t want to abandon Bushtit and the trail, and she didn’t want to hike alone. We hung around for a little while, just kinda stalling. But we said our goodbyes and forced ourselves to depart. We drive away while Bushtit stood all alone and waved goodbye.
It was very nice of my parents to drive all the way down to Shasta and then a bit further south to get Bushtit back to the trail. We drove back to Oregon, the temperature dropping the further north we went.
Bushtit made about a dozen miles and several thousand feet of elevation gain before the night was done. I was glad to hear from her that she chatted with her best friend on the phone for about three hours of the hike, and she camped at Disappearing Creek with a couple of our hiker friends, Bones and Coon.
Our paths are only temporarily parted.