Day 144- We woke up and headed to the famous Diner. I’m not gonna lie I have never seen the show Twin Cities. I didn’t have their famous coffee or cherry pie, but my breakfast was massive and so fucking bomb. I ate about half and was beyond overly full. Gladly took those left overs though. We walked through town a bit trying to find anywhere selling the proper masks for the smoke. Everyone was completely out, so we ended up going to a health clinic and they gave us some for free to wear. Idk if they were the right ones though or just ones to cover for germs. We walked down the road a bit after packing up the room to get a hitch. We were being weird, Dash tried twerking. We were pulling out all the tricks to get a hitch which a kind lady finally gave us. She was saying that her husband would hate knowing she picked up strangers. People’s reactions are always funny to me. But I get it, if it’s not a small trail town people have no clue why you’re out there looking dirty and wearing big packs. She dropped us right at the Chevron gas station where all the hikers resupply and hang out. I was there a bit loading up, organizing, and chatting with hikers. Tim and Freckles called us earlier and had already started hiking, with Hefty! Who was somehow here when they were! Lots of people were at the gas station. Gentlemen, Pacer, Drum Solo, Dorian, and many many more. Everyone all bunched up together once again due to the fire closures. Headed out with our masks on trying to get 15 miles to the campsite we planned on meeting Tim and Freckles. Idk if the masks worked, it seemed to help a little. But just still felt like I was breathing in a campfire all day. And the sweat around your face with the mask on was so uncomfortable and itchy. I couldn’t stand it. I tried to walk slower to not breathe too hard, which was recommended. But it was a descent uphill and already afternoon and I needed to get 15 miles in….so “slow” wasn’t going to be happening. Stopped at a small pond down from the trail in the afternoon to rest a minute and get some water, I was joined shortly by L-Train and Dorian. His crew plans to hike to the next lake in just a couple miles while we plan to couple miles while we plan to continue on. 6 hours later, passing hikers on the ridge, seeing not much in the distance, I passed Hitch so it was cool to see her again. She had been hiking with Hefty a bit and was meeting him where we planned to stop and camp. It got dark as I approached the camp which was a little off trail. But I saw a note from Hefty and followed the arrow down, doing the Elk mating call I found my friends. And later the rest of the group came as well. I think there was 9 of us there. And we all laid by the lake laughing and chatting. Just laying in our bags with no shelter around us. Just the comfort of company, the fresh air, and the stars. It was fun to get to catch up, I haven’t seen hitch in forever, and we hadn’t seen Hefty since Cascade Locks. Camping at mile 2407.9 out of 2652……how?…?. Wait….???. What’s happening….???. I’m just going to try and embrace each moment I have with these beautiful people. Idk what this journey would have ever been like without them.