Miles hiked this section: 50
PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 652
Miles hiked so far: 2005ish
700 miles to go!!
Our first day hiking in the desert we are blessed with cloud cover. I enjoy a great chat with Twinless where she lets me go on and on about the future and possibilities. Thru hiking is a practice of fully inhabiting the present moment and indulgences in future concerns are normally frowned upon. After a swarm of tiny ants attack me at our lunch break I evacuate the valley and press on alone up the 6 mile ridge following tiny bear prints. I sing going around corners in case the little buddy is still around. Wrong Way Gang footprints often go around animal prints to preserve them for the enjoyment of hikers behind, but I start stepping on and obscuring prints because last night Jon said many of these hunters are looking to score trophy bears. The thought breaks my heart and I am pissed the hunters are using my trail to do this.
My mood is glorious, my energy is good and the day flies by talking with Future Dad and Twinless about 20-something Millennial concerns such as Tinder and wedding ceremonies. As a 3-time maid of honor I think I have a lot of wisdom to pass along.
The sun sets and I am walking alone singing musicals. Then future Dad appears and the last few miles pass joyfully in the dark. I am ready for camp but we see a headlamp about 2 miles further along the ridge. The lamp blinks at us… Probably Huck or Groucho because this is a typical wrong way gang signal. I’m bummed we will have to keep going but then we round a bend and we are on a flat point in the ridge with the lights of the Air Force base glinting brightly below and our friends sitting under a tree. We set up in this most beautiful of campsites. Cell service comes more often near these towns and I get a text message from Bug relaying she misses is and is going to meet us at the next road tomorrow!
Waking at 4 am, I hike down hill seeing my friends’ flashlights bob in the distance ahead and behind me. After a few miles we come to the only water we will see today. It is a tiny trickle impossible to collect from… I fold a leaf and prop it over a rock where the water flows a little faster… The leaf acts as a spout and though it is slow it allows me to fill my bottle. I can’t wait to see Bug. I told her we would get there around 1pm. I book it last 6 miles and decide to Try to trail run the last two. I am surprised I can actually talk and breath normally while running.
Then Bug! In a Car! With her adorable dog Sprout. She shuttles us 40 miles to Lake Isabella and we get pizza and groceries. We comically try to fit 6 hikers, 6 packs, groceries and a dog in a hatchback.
At dark, we drive back to the pass and find the home of a few new PCT trail angels Richard and Rita who live off the grid and let us stay in their propane/solar powered guest house. Hot showers and lights abound until 10pm when the solar runs out and the lights suddenly go out. We find our headlamps and set up in the floor in the living room and pass out.