June 16th, 2006


Day 50: A sudden twist into the absurd

So ...

No shit, there I was.

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Seriously. All true and unembellished. I couldn't make this stuff up.

The bottom line is -- after the continual foot woes, the Memorial Day break, the giardia slowdown and the unexpected sick days, and the tenuous progress I've been finally making -- I backtracked to the freeway (day 51 = negative trail miles!) and hitched back into town, and now I'm stuck here in this area until Monday, when my replacement frame should be arriving in Mojave.

Every time I think I'm going to start making some real progress, some new and creative disaster strikes. This time, though, it's just gone over the top straight into absurdity.

I'd cry if it weren't so hilarious.
hiking - topo map

My near-term schedule

As described in my previous post, I've had a little incident that's going to force me to twiddle my thumbs until Monday. So.

In case anyone cares about my schedule for the next few days, here it is:

Friday - Currently in Tehachapi, because holy SHIT is the Cameron Road exit of Highway 58 a wasteland. I tried hitching a ride for over an hour and a grand total of six cars passed by. Two of which arrived separately and drove up to each other in what looked from across the overpass like some sort of drug deal; and two of which arrived 20 minutes later, headed the other direction, and did the same thing. So I jumped at the very first ride that was offered. Screw the fact it was headed in the wrong direction. At least this way I'm in a town. It'll be easier and safer to get to Mojave from here than to have toughed it out in the middle of nowhere.

I might try getting a ride to Mojave tonight, or might stay at a hotel here in Tehachapi tonight. Probably depends on whether I can hook up a roomshare with any other hikers -- there's a few others in town, according to thru-hikers Baird and Phillip, who I met here at the Internet cafe.

Also, I watched a movie while waiting for the Internet cafe to open. "Nacho Libre," which apparently debuted today. Verdict: ** (out of 4 stars); a quasi-comedy about a friar at a Mexican orphanage who secretly turns to the wrestling circuit to fulfill a lifelong ambition. Forgettable. However, I appreciated that they shot an awful lot of the movie in Spanish and never used subtitles or expository dialogue -- it's a refreshing change of pace (especially since I still understand enough basic Spanish to catch some of the subtle cues). Jack Black's singing was great. There was one particularly memorable song line from when Nacho goes out to the wilderness: "I ate some bugs, I ate some grass. I used my hand, to wipe my lips." And it was a nice touch that Collapse ). As an aside, the flick (as with most) fails the Mo Movie Measure.

Saturday - Head into Mojave if I spend the night tonight in Tehachapi; otherwise sit around Mojave all day. Twiddle my thumbs a lot. Spend time wondering if anyone in the area wants to take a day trip and come out for a friendly chat. My cell phone number is in this post if anyone wants to coordinate a visit, and for once, I'll actually leave it on.

Sunday - Yay! kadyg drives down south! We spend time together!

Monday - kadyg still here with me. The two of us might drive up to Kennedy Meadows to make the big thru-hiker party/No Way Ray memorial service scheduled for the 19th. Then, sometime that day, my pack frame should arrive in Mojave, and I can have kadyg drive me out to pick it up and then drop me off at the trailhead so I can get down to hiking again.

Projected arrival date in Kennedy Meadows (where the desert finally ends in earnest, and the High Sierra starts) would then be approx. June 25. Only about 10 days after (in an average year) the big wave of hikers leaves. "Kennedy Meadows day" is one of our big landmarks, and it's frustrating to be that far behind already, but at least the trip is still in salvageable shape. Assuming no further delays. :P

... I hope I'm not going to have too much trouble finding a hiking partner to go through the high Sierra with, because that's one stretch that I'm absolutely not going to tackle without being part of a larger group.