Day 5

Mileage: 18.3

Total Distance: 109.5

Camp tonight is in Warner Springs with about ten other hikers. Everyone has passed out early and taking advantage of a place to relax and repair gear and our bodies. 

I woke up feeling great this morning around 3 am and was tempted to start hiking, but lazily fell back asleep. I woke up again with a strange sensation in my left ear and realized something was crawling inside. Without thinking I slapped my ear and killed whatever it was, but now the guts and skin of the insect were inside my ear so informs a small stick on the ground and scraped it all out. It was a small centipede looking thing. Ive never seen something like it, but was horrified and took about fifteen minutes to relax back into sleep. I ended up sleeping until 7 which is the time I wanted to be hiking then so I quickly got my things together, pooped and stretched and took off. The trail today was the chillest. I began by descending from the range I was on as the stretch of mountains from the west converged with mine and threw my trail over to the east side of the ridge. My calves were burning with every step and I had a single liter of water to make it ten miles to a spring. My pace was fast, but interrupted by a need to constantly shade my calves with my umbrella. This slowed my pace dramatically until I decided to put my thermal leggings on and accept the heat.

By the time I got to the springs that were swarming with tadpoles, I was feeling woozy and my head had a deep ache and finding where it was coming from was for some reason impossible. I downed two liters of water and filled up three more and was surprised to see my friend Neil Bob show up to spend some time with me venting about the sun. We both were planning on stopping at Warner Springs so I said goodbye and darted back to the trail.

The last 9 miles were just brutal. The sun was relentless and sucked every drop of moisture out of me. I could feel my body roasting under my umbrella and the wind only silenced the heat momentarily. There were beautiful golden hills surrounding me on all sides with beautiful mountains in the backdrop. When I reached the valley and began the long and exposed walk to the community center crickets were flying a million different directions. Every step I took seemed to set them off as if a million mouse traps were set in a small room and someone threw an orange in. They exploded from every direction and reminded me of cornels of popcorn popping as they bounced around. A couple smacked me in the face and one was lucky enough to find his, or her, way into my mouth for a deep, but short lived, make out session. I laughed at the ridiculousness of how many there were and this went on for miles. I recorded so many videos in hopes to show the reality of it, but I don’t think any of them do it justice. 

I finally made it to the community center and was greeted by a large man named Ox who wore a biker jacket and had a huge beard with a single dread extending the length of the others dropping below his wiry hairs. I liked him the moment I laid eyes on him, but wasn’t expecting his personality. He was addicted to this game called Empire and spent about 7 hours on the computer while his boss handled all the hikers who came in after me. 

I had to pick up a box from the post office a mile away and was told that it would be a cold day in hell before I got a hitch from anyone around here so I took a side trail and spent the time talking to Molly, which was perfect and so good for me to vent and relax and laugh and feel connection from so far away. As I passed the golf course I saw a coyote relaxing in the sun and as soon as it saw me it darted away. During the walk back my exhaustion really set in and I sadly had to say goodbye to the only person I felt like talking to. 

When I got back to the community center, the kind lady who ran the place, don’t remember her name, gave me a bucket for water and a bar of soap and showed me out the back door to take my shower. Pouring water over your head and watching the dirt shed from your skin is so exciting. I was very dirty. I cleaned myself the best I could and then washed my clothes in the same bucket and went inside to put my feet in another bucket with warm water and Epsom salt. Heaven. I sat for a long time doing blogging shit when out of no where Ox went off on the olympics and how people shouldn’t allow transgenders to participate because it’s, “just not fair”. Ox is hard of hearing and speaks very loudly so having a civilized conversation with him quickly turns into a yelling match. I wasn’t sure if he just wanted to yell about something or if he wanted to actually talk so I gave up with my opinions and just nodded my head as he went on and on about how “a 280 pound MAN who has trained his whole life to be the biggest and most powerful human can’t just get his balls cut and play with the girls”. They way he said the word “or” will forever shake me to the core. Scary dude. Loves to yell. Not sure where his head is. If he wasn’t talking to me or Neil Bob he was talking to himself in a mumble or cussing out the computer for taking his resources. I tried to tell him he should use them while he had them , but he wouldn’t listen. It’s his own damn fault. 

After ordering a pizza with Neil Bob and catching up with Roadhouse about his weird interview he had with an Asian broadcast team in Julian, CA, I am now spent for the day and excited for the next few to come. It feels good to be a hundred in, but there is still so much more to go. 
Thought of the day:
This is definitely aloe Vera. Right? 

One Reply to “Popcorn”

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