Let’s get serious for a moment. I had a discussion with a fellow hiker about how life before 8 a.m. should not exist. And times like 3, 4, and 5 a.m. actually do not exist. When I told him someone started hiking at 5am, his reply was, “He was lying to you, because that time does not really exist.” I liked this guy. He gets me.
Last night I was up most of the night in winds so strong, I thought surely there would be a house on me by morning, the only things remaining being my striped socks. After all that, I heard people getting up and packing before the sun was up. Birds weren’t even chirping yet! Seriously!? In the secrecy of my tent, I flipped off each and every person that walked by before 6:30. It’s not that I dislike morning people…it’s just that we’re different breeds.
After Julian, everything was hot and uphill. The trail zigzagged in an insane manner up the hills while there was the view of the straight road below. I just wanted to get further but spent 2 days looking at that road. This trail makes me angry sometimes.
When I finally started to get away from the road, a rattlesnake scared the hell out of me. He was hiding in a bush and I stepped so close to him, I could have reached down and pet him. I think back to playing Xbox Kinect Wipeout with my family and how I could never jump high enough. I guess I never really had the motivation until the snake incident. I have never jumped so high in my life.
There are many motivators on the trail. Water and food top my list. I hiked 14 miles one day just because that was the only water source. It seems that is my biggest motivator. Water. Nothing else matters. A cache of pallets of unopened Crystal Geyser is like seeing a pile of gold. When it is hot and you just ran out of disgusting water you filtered from some questionable green creek, that cool fresh bottle is the best thing you’ve ever tasted.
I was feeling ready for a change in terrain. The flowers are gorgeous, the cacti are awesome, but I was ready for something new. Just then, the plants grew tall until I was surrounded by huge oaks. I made it to the next water source. It was paradise. After that, I was walking through tall oaks and fields of flowing grass. I stopped several times just to listen to the grass. I bet you’ve never done that. I hope you get a chance sometime in your life.
I happily walked along a creek with the tall oaks the rest of the day until I got to my meeting point. I was sitting in a chair, waiting for my dad. When he pulled up, a couple of guys walked over to say hello. These were the guys that stayed at our campsite a week earlier, that I suspect hang around to see what else my family will bring.
My dad and I checked into a little cabin and we were the first customers of theirs…ever. It is funny being the only people at a resort, but the place is nice and the water is hot. Which is good because it takes so long to clean myself these days. He took me out to do laundry and eat Mexican food. I just needed a pile of melted cheese, I didn’t care what was under it. That was such a satisfying meal. I feel like every meal I have on the trail is the most satisfying meal I’ve ever had. We topped it off with margaritas. This is hiking in style. God knows I’ll need it for the next uphill stretch into Idyllwild.