Today was the first time on the trip that someone picked us up in one spot and woke up early to drop us off in the same spot the next morning. Sonny woke up and was willing to leave with us at 530am from Livermore to drop us off in Tracy for a long day to Oakdale.
As we walked by some old trains parked on the side of the road this chilly morning, we discussed sleeping in one and decided it would be a bad idea if we ever got the chance, just in case.
Getting from Tracy to Manteca was interesting because we had to navigate around an interstate (or three) on pedestrian paths and random access roads that someone driving would never know were there! The paths were mostly overgrown and lumpy, but they were a welcome walkway compared to crawling under expressways!
When we finally made it out to the regular roads we were getting a little hungry. Luckily a Denise’s Farmers Market was right there, so we stopped for some bananas and an actual bathroom break.
We walked near many orchards (we think apricot mostly) and even saw a couple of farm cats!
We also made the (hopefully smart) decision to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours because the sun is so bright and there is so little shade.
Today was nice because there was a town every ten miles (Tracy-Manteca-Escalon-Oakdale) but at 130 pm ten miles feels like too long. However, a Denise’s popped up right when we were getting tired (and just in time to take Tim’s one week since shaving photo). We were saved again and bought some cold Gatorade and bananas to help continue for the day.
It felt like the hottest day ever when we got to Escalon but we still had ten miles to go, so we headed out after a short stop to refill our water and hoped for the best. We crawled toward Oakdale as the temperature continued to rise and we regretted more and more our decision to use small school backpacks for the first week, thinking it would be easier than dim size backpacks (moral of the story, we packed too much stuff). No matter how miserable we felt, we still turned down an offer for a ride (our first!). A lady going toward Oakdale turned around and offered to get us there, we later saw her going back the other direction too.
But we finally made it to Oakdake, the town of a million “Welcome To” signs (seriously, they had like, five on the way in). So we posed for our pictures with the town sign(s), stopped at the grocery store to buy our couchsurfing (our first one ever!) hosts a nice beer, and made the last painful mile into downtown Oakdale.
We stayed with Chris and Maria from the couchsurfing website and quickly realized why it is such a popular travel site for our friends. They fed us dinner and had pets that we could play with and were so friendly we felt right at home right away. We’ll be missing showers and warm meals once we don’t have them every day.
Today we walked through:
Manteca (water slides! Though not any more)
Rebecca: 77,844 steps
Tim: 73,154 steps
144 miles finished