Miles hiked this section: 55-70ish
PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 582
Miles hiked so far: 2075ish
Rich and Rita have a regional map in the wall and we realize today we can slack pack! We identify a road at Bird Spring Pass in 21 miles where Huck and Twinless can pick us up in 8 hours. They both want a day off anyway. We pack super light packs with just water, 1st aid and water and are able to fly. Bug joins us and it’s fun catching up with her. We have heart to hearts and see jack rabbits, burned out dune buggies and lots of new desert brush. future dad and I chat about seeking purpose and finding peace with one’s self rather than an egoistic list of achievements. Then we reach the top of a climb and FutureDad and Groucho become possessed and strip naked- running to the pass in their birthday suits. Bug and I run too… But opt for clothing. We are picked up on a bumpy road But Huck is a master driver and soon we are at the grocery.
We return to Rich at Ritas – cooking them dinner – and hearing about their 60 years knowing each other- from when they were children together in Argentina. The generosity of these souls astounds us all.
My ankle tendons have been protesting the last few days. Especially mornings… and now the problem spreads to my shins. I decide to take a rest day and help run the support vehicle so the others can slack pack if they want. It seems the problem is contagious because Huck and Twinless also rest again along with bug and I. We drop Groucho and Future Dad at the dirt road and head to Lake Isabella. I do chores including blogging and a long boring story of another lost package I try to track down at the post office. We grab pizza and beers and drive back for a picnic with the triumphant slack packers. We camp near trail on a windy hill. sprout the dog has an epic crush on Twinless and keeps trying to get in her tent. Bug is having the time of her life but sadly decides she needs up get back to studying and “home”… Even though she’s not sure where home is. She will leave tomorrow.
Bug hikes out a few miles and then returns to her car after some sad hugs. We are all bummed. Twinless has to get off trail in a few weeks for a wedding and decides to skip another 50 miles ahead so she can get to a town with public transportation by oct 15 — so she gets in the car with bug to Tehachapi. She’s all about the joy of the journey- she started 250 miles into Washington from her home near Snoqualmie pass – so from the start she isn’t concerned about hitting all the miles, in order, this one year. She’s therefore not a “purist” as they are known in the secret language of thru hikers. In stark contrast FutureDad has made one continuous footpath from Canada. Everytime he hitches away from trail he returns precisely to where he left. Exactly. He is pretty OCD about it. I think about these contrasting ethics a lot today. Both are totally valid. Both will have hiked over 2000 miles, impressive by any account. And both will undeniably be transformed by their journey. Where in the spectrum do I fall? Probably the middle. I am here for rigor, duration, and transformation but I refuse to be shackled by the handcuffs of the trail. At that point it becomes just another job. I make choices to both push myself and also to find satisfaction in as many days as possible. At dark we lose the trail for a second but find it again -trudging the last mile uphill ending another 30+ mile day. I sleep under a tree like a wild animal nestled in duft, away from the wind. Best sleep ever.