I powered through the thick sand on the trail, passing the Cottonwood Pass trailhead and blinking back at the glare bouncing off the car windshields just ahead in the parking lot. It was only 10:00 am and I’d finished my hike for the day! And who do you think reappeared just after I stuck my thumb out for a ride to Lone Pine? A little white car crammed with guys and gear passed slowly but I heard it reverse at the stop sign. Back it came, the passenger door flew open and Chuck jumped out saying, “I told Bob, that’s Debbie and we’re not leaving her!” it was Bob, Chuck and Cyril from day one on the trail! They reorganized and literally shoehorned me into the backseat with my pack on my lap. It was a wonderful conversation-filled jaunt down the mountain, just like reuniting with lifelong friends. As they dropped me off with big hugs, I thought “Gosh, I think I’m going to miss them most of all,” just like the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman and Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. With a big wave, I turned and tapped along the pavement with my trusty Leki trekking poles and checked into the nearest motel. Yes, it had a shower!