We drove to Caledonia State Park late last night and ended up sleeping in the car / stealth camping nearby since it was too late to find a campsite. We knew the parking lot would get checked by rangers since you’re supposed to register to park overnight there, and sure enough, we had a visit at 3:30am. We had left a note in the windshield explaining we were too late to register but we woke up and spoke with the lady too. She said it was okay that we were there. Then this morning we were woken up early again: apparently it’s a popular parking spot for runners at the park.
We packed up a bit and Stretch hopped out of the car to hike south, and Odie and I drove the car south to park at PenMar Park and hike north. I ran into Stretch at lunchtime and gave her the car key so when she got down to PenMar she could drive back up to Caledonia to meet me. That’s how our slackpacking plan is going to work for the next little while, but it feels really strange to have a car out here.
It was really hot out today but when I was a few miles from the end, it suddenly got dark and really windy. I figured the storm would blow in quickly but it took another half hour before it started pouring. I had my rain jacket with me so I put it on over my day pack and kept going. The trail soon turned into a stream but I kept splashing through. The rain finally slowed down right as I got the 18.3 miles to Caledonia and met Stretch with the car. We started driving around looking for dinner and made arrangements to stay with a friend’s mom who lives nearby.
We got to Denise and Jim’s house and were made to feel very welcome. We had great conversation with a second dinner, including lots of fruit, something I miss most on the trail, and then were shown to the very comfy guest bed. Thanks, Denise and Jim!