Stuck In Heaven

Day 16

Mileage: 30
Total distance: 466.1

Camp tonight is in a valley leading towards a lake. The sun set almost directly down the valley and the most glorious golds were on display that slowly melted into bright pinks and purples. 

I hate downhills first thing in the morning. It’s the worst. My body is not awake and stumbling down a hill is not the way to wake it up. I prefer a subtle incline for a solid three miles and then I feel wonderful, but today that was not the case. It began with 8 miles downhill to the KOA in Acton and the entire time my left foot was pinching with pain and my stomach was getting rocked from the abrasive pounds on the hard surface of trail. After I quit whining things got great. 

I got to the KOA and realized they had nothing I wanted to so I went right back on the trail to get another ten miles to find Agua Dulce. At one point the trail takes you under an over pass with a long and small tunnel where kicking rocks sounds like a car wreck. I had a lot of fun making humming noises and wolf howls until I realized there was a hiker sitting at the end watching me. Dammit. I smiled embarrassingly as I passed and bolted down the trail. 

  • Vasquez Rocks. 

Once I was off the mountain and back on the desert floor the trail brought me through Vasquez Rocks, which is a place filled with various rock formations that had holes all throughout them. The Ravens loved this place. As I was walking through I heard a rumble in the bushes next to me and froze to see what it was. Something was pushing through the brush and just as I was about to panic a gorgeous grey fox came trotting out from behind the wall of shrubs. It spotted me immediately and we shared a stare for a moment before it retreated back into its haven. 

I ended up getting lost in the rocks and had to use my gps to get me back on trail. I was so frustrated and hot that I started running until I felt my quad clenching and took a minute to sit and breathe off my irritation. Heat can really make me a dick and I get so caught up in frustration that I have to sit and let all the shit sit for a minute so I can process and get my head back together. 

After the rocks there is a long road walk into Agua dulce and horses were in everyone’s back yard leaving them to be spectacles for romantics such as myself. The horse is the most majestic creature on earth. That’s objective. 

Once I got to town a group of hikers were in the back of a truck and called me over to go to Hiker Heaven. I was thrilled! I got to shower and clean my clothes and get a new pair of shoes to last me a few days until my next drop comes. It was sad to say bye to my first pair, but they had served their time and were now garbage. 

I kept waiting and waiting for a shuttle back to town, but it seemed that everyone was done for the day and relaxing in heaven, but I still had 18 miles to do. I sat around for a long time playing with my phone and talking to a few hikers I met the other day on the side trail for the frog reroute until finally a shuttle was going into town. I felt like a butthole for being so impatient when these people were doing so much for me but I really wanted to be back out there and finish my day. There home was so gorgeous and their hiker operation was so extensive. The AT trail angels have nothing on the vast set up these angels have for hikers. It’s kind of ridiculous. 

  • Hiker trash. 
  • Multiple computers for hiker use. 

Things worked out perfectly. I got my groceries and bought a kambucha and talked with Molly for a long time on my way up another 1500 foot climb. This climb was out of control. There were so many different shades of grass and the sun was just glittering them in contrast with the wind blowing them around. Once again I was on cloud nine and smiling from the beauty that surrounded me. I couldn’t handle it. I took a million pictures and whistled for an hour. The back side of the hill was even more gorgeous.  The sun began to set and a lake came into view and the clouds spread out to make a beautiful shape across the sky, waiting for colors to dress them for the night. 

  • Gladiator. 

I found a cache at the next road a couple miles down the back side of the ridge and decided to set up camp, but when another hiker passed and vocalized his distaste with camping next to roads I packed up and hiked another .4 miles to make my third 30 mile day in a row! Also the mice where jumping around and I didn’t want to deal with that shit again. 

  • My phone looks HUGE!!

There is now an occasional buzz from the road half a mile away along with a strange flapping noise hovering my tarp. Bat? Angel? Fairy? I am happy to be another day closer to seeing Molly and feeling proud of my body for taking the beating it’s had for the past two weeks. Soon it will be a machine and will carry me all the way to Canada. 

Thought of the day:

Everyone should listen to this song:

Manatee Commune- Clay

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