I learned an important lesson about waking up early, I can't do it. But I can walk fast as lightning for a couple hours to make up for the extra sleep. I made it to Grants Village by 10:15 with the intention of getting in and out and making it to my campsite 20 miles away. The problem, the post office doesn't have my package. I've seen it happen dozens of times to other hikers, but this is the first time it's happened to me and it sucks.
I headed over to the diner and enjoyed a solid but overpriced breakfast, it also took them 30 minutes to make it. Katie finally got out of surgery and was able to give me a tracking number. Due to unforseen circumstances the package was sent to Lake Village instead of Grants Village. The lady at the post office was very helpful and forwarded it to Old Faithful Village for next day pickup. Satisfied, I took a $4 shower and went back to the general store to get some food.
We're all lazy to some degree and I'm particularly lazy. Over the last few days Reststop and I would joke that it must be nice to camp early and enjoy yourself whenever we saw cottonbacks camped at 2 in the afternoon. Realizing that I wasn't going to make it very far I bought some beer, cheetos and a butterfinger and headed to the road to hitch. I was on a side road so cars could be going to the south exit of the park, or practically anywhere else in the park. I was going to take the first ride available, whether it was to the trail or old faithful village. The difference of 15 miles of hiking, an all you can eat breakfast and seeing Lone Star Geyser. Destiny led me to the Geyser and a 3 mile hike backwards. Even better, I already have a campsite reserved for the night less than a half a mile away.
Things always work out and while I missed some hiking and a few cool geothermal sites I get to see something I otherwise wouldn't have. I'm by no means a purist or continuous footstep hiker for reasons like this. I also know better than to get used to days like this, if I wanted to hitchhike around the country I'd just go home and get my car.
It was awesome!