On the way down I hitched with a few guys named Cody, Side Show, and Black Swan. I met them in Julian and they're the same age as me so it's been a fun time hanging out. We were picked up by a few people who did the trail last year (30 pack and hippie long stocking). They were really excited for us and we talked trail the whole trip down. From what I've heard there's some amazing things to come.
Some bad news:
Last night I learned that a hiker, who was 19 years old, coming from the border to lake Morena died. It was a big reminder that even though this adventure is filled with excitement and fun, it's also dangerous.
This is one of the gifts the pcta gave everyone who is thru hiking. It's called the ass-blaster. I'll let you figure out what it's used for...I don't think I'll be using it.