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Day 4 - Midday Break. Check out this resting spot! That awesome campsite from last night? How was it you ask? Beauty aside, it was a terrible spot! Still were mice despite the firm wind tugging at my quilt and blowing icy breath into my headwrap all night. But think only if the stars and the lights of the distant city - how the desert below was like a bathtub filled with sand, with overturned pails of various sizes for mountains scattered about
My bags strap broke. Well, came undone, it had been broken for years, but my hack tie job recertified the scenario, both then and now.
A shout out to Kevin Boredman for Dj-ing my tunes. Yes, Jason, the new hop along album is good, get the playlist from Kevin.
My tune: Abc's of New York My podcast: an exploration of the commonality of religious ideas My favorite: this rest site
My top recommendations for future hot weather hikers so far that I either learned on trail or feel their effectiveness is understated by the community compared to other things. A few ppl have already quit and/or considered quiting
Dry your feet, socks, insoles, and shoes separately twice daily or hourly if needed
Silk sock liners accelerate the drying process and control moisture while hiking too
Hike commando, put on underwear later in day. This minimizes the potential for chaffing. Or wear a robe for maximum airflow, which has the same effect
Only have enough medicine and other such consumables to last half way to the next town (if its serious and you're past half way, carry on. If its not serious and you're not half way, turn back). Obviously doesn't apply to real medicines.
3 layers max. I regret bringing my serria base layers. If its cold, either hike or get in your sleeping quilt! What weather is really too cold for just a hiking shirt but too hot for a puffy? If you have an answer you need to toughen up brosef!
Ask other hikers about their blisters, injuries, and emotional turmoil - it helps them to vent and helps you to not forget how awesome your hike is going!
Day 2. Mile 15 to Mile 31. After cowboy camping the very first night in a beautiful spot, I struck out late at 8am in search of water. Lake morena at mile 20 supplied me with water that "probably is worth filtering". The group I've been leapfrogging and a guy from Israel were there, the latter of which overheard someone speaking in a language he knew and in effect scored a few classic Israeli treats for us to share. I am still uncomfortable with the continuing passing of this group. I wish to hike alone, but be polite and open. A difficult balance to strike. This man finds it difficult to explain concisely what his desert soul trek is meant to be without sounding anti social. For now, let them all be content with my stock answer regarding topical questions about my robe: "It is a simple, silly reminder that our path is at once physical and spiritual." My first trail magic lead me down a .8 mile dirt road that could chew the tire of a rushing car like a great Dane and a new toy. Ain inter generational gathering of family was hosting hikers with beer and hot dogs. The other group arrived a few hours after me. Fate, it seems, wishes us together. I felt some hikers were rude by not masking the pretentiousness, but the family was relentlessly kind. Classism is no stranger to life nor trail.
Day 3: 31-45 Forgot my dang poles at campsite, ran back to get them. Forgot my dang poles at the creek where I aided another hiker who had a leak. Word was she was thinking of quiting yesterday, so I didn't feel bad losing my contractor bag in a bid to help her past these tough early days ago adjustment to trail life. I made piece with the awkwardness of the leapfrog group. A member had fallen behing, crying in a pine forest, an enchanting respite from the desert heat. She was taken by the beauty of the forest and memories of pine cones at home. I started to share my memories of my mother collecting pine cones in yosemite, but decided against it. I didn't want to jeopardize her moment of connection with the trail. But I carried one with me to facilitate the dredging of memories assumed forgotten. And gave water to the desert. I find myself skipping events, this is not so much a journal as a shared space for my meditations. But the sun sets over the most beautiful camp site I have ever seen, and I just write in my journal before sleep. The desert slips off into the horizon below this mountain I'm on. Alone at the top, the wind steady but firm, I wish you good night with my newly accepted trail name - "Pilgrim"
At 8am I began, by 5pm I arrived at the lovely solo camp spot at mile 16. Not the pace I wanted but gotta go easy on first few days!
The forecast states there's a 100% chance I get very used to devouring peanut mms.
This site is stunning though, just laying down watching the sun filter through the bushes that the light, consistent breeze is forcing to dance slowly. Creates a hazy, Smokey yellow oldtimey filter over the space between these two mountains.
This still doesn't feel all that big of a deal, so for now, I'm just focusing on having a relaxing first few days. Approx 15-18 miles each day is the expectation before bumping to 20 or so.
The good: trail is beautiful, California sunsets The bad: I'm not fricken leg ripped yet The ugly: passed the same group of three over a dozen times. This one's brutal, folks
6am day of the trail. Can barely eat breakfast. Not too far outside the norm for me, but certainly partially nerve induced. Just like Senegal, it seems to be hitting me only within 24 hours of departure that adventure lies ahead
"When by mutation a new rose is born in a garden, all gardeners rejoice. They isolate the rose, tend it, foster it. But there is no gardener for men"
On occasion, I may spy my shadow and decant upon mine own uniformity. (Richard iii fans go fucking wild upon realizing how good that line was). The wind whipping around my robe, trekking poles resting like swords in a standard, the hood's exceptional ability to mask the shape of the head. It reminds me of the earth's ability to rebuke the advances of time despite its vastness. And so we find ourselves, more or less (give this one to me, we must sacrifice content for aesthetics), walking among the same rocks the furthest of our ancestors walked. I see the hardened nomadic people's forging there way across difficult terrain. For that was a necessary part of their life, and so they did. At least it's fun to imagine your shadow as a window into your spiritual ancestors of ol'. Idk try it next time you're walking a desert floor for hours at midday while carrying 2 days water.
My tunes: Next Best Western and Willin by Richard shindell My leap frog group: smoked 'em, obviously. If you've been paying attention to this very detailed, consistent blog, you knew that was all but certain. They prob eating my dust 8 miles back. Hope Annie takes the trail name I offered her, despite me running laps on their sorry behinds, or, whatever the 2600 mile long track with no loop version of that is
Hours before leaving for the border. Like, woahhh dude...
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