We have some time to hang out at the beach this morning and explore. I have arranged for a shuttle to take us from Little Harbor to the airport today at 12:30pm. We plan to eat lunch then hike back to our campsite. The sun is relentless and the only way to feel cool is to be knee deep in the ocean water. Boats come and go from both harbors and we are still the only ones here. We look for sea anemones and dig for sand crabs. I have not done this in years and I’m remembering why I love it soo much.
I try my next food experiment with breakfast. Pancakes and bacon. The bacon is easy enough as it is the kind that is already cooked. It just needs to be heated up again. It tastes really good! I have the pancake mix in a ziplock bag and add water. I put some butter and olive oil in the pan and pour some batter in. Ugh….the batter is sticking soo bad. I brought a spatula with me to help flip them, but instead we are having scrambled pancakes. I emptied out a small container at home to bring some syrup in. With a drizzle of syrup, the pancakes tasted good, but looked terrible. My pan is looking even more terrible. Pancake fail. We now have to soak our pan all day to be able to use it tonight. Bummer.
We made sure to bring our small camelback packs that can hold our hydration bladders for our day hike back today. A shuttle van picks us up in Little Harbor to take us to the airport. What a ride this is! The woman driver knows her limits and drives right up to them. The roads are all dirt and gravel. As we round corners, the tires are come up off the ground and we are sliding left and right. I am holding on and praying we make it there. Exciting for sure!
One of our missions today is to secure another shuttle for a ride back to Two Harbors tomorrow. After talking it over, we decided there was no way we wanted to hike back over those mountains again. I had already done it twice now and was good with not repeating it for a third time. We wanted this trip to be challenging, but also enjoyable. We are already hiking in the heat today, so no need to make life hard on ourselves when we could just get a ride, right?
I am able to get cell service and arrange for the shuttle. Nothing is cheap on Catalina, but this ride is going to be well worth the money. Lunch is fun at the little airport and Gannon gets the bison tacos. He says they were very good. We check in with our kids to make sure all is good and do a few text messages. We made a pact to not check emails and we stick to it!
It is time to head back to camp and luckily most of the way is downhill. Again, we do the same route that Mary and I took up to the airport and Gannon is impressed that we did that. It is not called Sheep Chute road for nothing. It is another nearly straight up road with some pretty steep terrain towards the top. We can see the ocean the whole way, yet it feels like we are not making any progress to get there. What a strange feeling that is.
We make it back at about the same time as yesterday (4:00pm), but much less tired. We finally get some company tonight as a young guy shows up next to us. We have extra firewood and give him some of ours so that it won’t go to waste. I find out his name is Ben and he is hiking the Trans-Catalina Trail. He is surprised to hear that I had already done it before and that Gannon and I had hiked into here yesterday. We might be older and not as thin as we used to be, but we are still just as capable and with even more determination!
My experimental food is tested again at dinner. It is corn chowder that I dehydrated all the essentials at home and I just add boiling water to. I have to say….total success! It is super good and easy to clean up. It will go in my rotation of on-trail food from now on.
There is another amazing sunset and we are able to just sit by the campfire talking about life, the future, and soaking in every last second of this wonderful respite that we have.