We had a fantastic night of sleep atop the ridge last night with no rain, no dew, and comfortable temperatures. We got up early to make sure we could make six miles to the 501 shelter before the rains did. We were out by seven and made the shelter well before eleven even with several leisurely stops at vistas along the way.
The trail was good most of the way with only one major rock scramble. Being close to a road on a weekend day, there were a lot of day hikers out also enjoying the views. The sun was shining and a gentle cool breeze was blowing. It really was an ideal morning.
And then came the 501. It is a very unusual shelter, being enclosed on all four sides and having a skylight and an outdoor shower and residential pump water source. But the most striking feature is pizza. The shelter is only 0.1 mi from highway 501 and the local pizza shop delivers for a $2 fee. The catch is that they don’t start delivery until 4pm.
Since the local pizza joint did not start delivery until 4 pm, we had to patiently eat our peanut butter and jelly on English muffins and wait five whole hours. Oh, the humanity.
Other hikers kept showing up all day so there were plenty of interesting people to meet and talk with throughout the day. The worst part was that the rains did not come until three o’clock and it was still gorgeous outside all afternoon until then. We felt guilty just sitting there passing the time.
But the wait was worth it. At 4:02 we placed our order and at 4:45 we were eating pizza and a Caesar salad and had a wrapped sub ready for tomorrow. We even splurged with a small Pepsi. One of the thru hikers we met today ate a meatball sub and then a large pizza. Another one ate chicken wings, fried broccoli, and half of a large pizza. Karen and I ate only half our large pizza.
We are supposed to have nice sunny weather the next two days but it is supposed to be very windy and quite cold, as in 38 degrees cold. 42 has been our coldest so far and that one was no fun to wake up in so this should be an interesting few days. After that, more rain.