“Hello! I am sitting on a ridge about 2 miles above Big Bear City, having finally got out of town last night and walked about 12 trail miles to get here. So, go figure. Even after a full half day on the trail I still can't escape this place.
Actually, yesterday was kind of interesting, because rather than sit around waiting for the bus from the same bus system that abandoned me in the middle of downtown the night before, I tried hitchhiking around town. And I managed to catch a ride down by the stores and the laundromat that I needed to hit, after about half an hour, with a lovely woman whose name I don't immediately have, but I wrote it down and so I'll add it to this post later. [That would have been Shilene. -B] Did everything I needed to do, ate a nice huge lunch of meatloaf which caused me to hike most of my yesterday miles in a food coma, then tried hitchhiking out of town. And let me tell you, if my experiences here are any indication, hitchhiking is not easy. I actually sat there for probably about an hour straight, with my thumb out and a little sign thing: "HIKER TO TRAIL", and not a single person was stopping, although there was one woman who read my sign, and I could see her talking to her husband in the driver's seat, and just by reading lips [I could tell] she said, "What does 'hiker to trail' mean?" and I couldn't quite make out his reply, which was amusing but didn't get me a ride.
So after that, I just sort of retreated in defeat to the bus stop, and I used the bus to get as far to the edge of town as I could, and from there I tried my luck at hitchhiking again, and ultimately, the people who pulled over were the people who stocked the hiker cache over at the Highway 18 intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. Their names were Nitro and Heinz (like the ketchup), and I caught a ride out with them, and so... yeah, if it hadn't been for them I probably would have been trying to hitchhike another couple of hours and then giving up in defeat and walking several road miles back out to the trail, so it's like [singing] "Welcome to the Hotel Big Bear City. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."
But, all that adventure behind me, I did get out last night. I hiked about eight miles, some of which was night hiking, which is actually quite lovely. I'd prefer to do it when there was a nice moon out so I don't have to rely completely on my flashlight, but the trail here is pretty well marked and pretty well graded, and I didn't have to worry about stumbling over rocks in the flashlight or anything.
So it's been a nice afternoon and it's now cool and cloudy and I got another 15 or so trail miles ahead of me before I'm going to stop for the day and just keep on going and keep hiking through this week, stop about Wednesday or Thursday, head up to BayCon from which I will make a whole mess of posts about how the hiking has actually been, realizing I have not actually done yet.
One more voice post to make about a totally different subject entirely, and then I'm going to head back out on the trail, so I hope you're all havin' fun and it's been a pleasant hike out here.”