Day 17

Mileage: 25ish
Total distance: 517.6

I woke up this morning feeling like shit. I could not get up and did not want to move a muscle. My whole body was exhausted, but going back to sleep just wouldn’t work. Why is that? Heat? Brightness? Full bladder? Yea! That’s it!! I peed for almost five minutes hunched over like a broken man from how tired I was. 

It was 6:45 and I had 35 miles to do. I got my things together in a flash and set off. I got to go uphill at first and I thought that would pump my body up, but I could not shake the exhaustion. For three hours I fought and fought, but my body was not having it. 

Eventually after minor ups and downs of grade I reached a road 13 miles in that lead to Casa De Luna and a fire station. I read a sign that said the trail was closed due to a fire and I lost it. I actually verbally cussed out the trail and threw my water bottle at a tree. 

It’s just such a bummer to get motivated to do big miles and hike the trail and have to now miss almost 100 miles because of fires. I realized quickly it was no ones fault and I chilled out, but it still sucks. A couple hikers came over and told me there was an 18 mile road walk to get back to the trail and I chuckled at the disappointment I felt from everything. Exhaustion. Fire closure. Road walk. Damn. 

I ended up filling three liters of water and began walking up hill on a road with no shoulder for about three miles when a man in a huge maroon truck asked if I wanted a ride. Of course! 

He was a silly man with a big belly and a strange southern draw with a hint of New York to it. Very odd. He went on an on about workers comp and how pissed he was at the company he used to work for and at one point whispered to me, “you know I’m a millionaire?”  

“Oh, really?”

“Yup, 3.5 million. I fell off a building and it was the companies fault and, say, you ever seen that Erin movie?”

“Erin Brockovich?”

“Yeah, yeah! That was my lawyer?”

“No shit?” 

“Yup! Now you can tell you friends you met a millionaire!”

He was very proud of this and I commend him! Well done man. Well done. 

He dropped me off along with 5 other hikers who were attempting the 242424 challenge where you drink 24 beers in 24 hours while hiking 24 miles. A.K.A.- death from dehydration in the desert. Dumb, but I saluted them and went on my way. 

  • 13 hikers in one van. 

Road walks suck big ones. Hot black asphalt and hard pounding concrete under your feet for miles can tear your legs apart. By the time I reached hiker town I was limping on both legs and I could feel my feet melting from the sole. 

Everyone in hikertown seemed to be out of it. There were hikers everywhere passed out or hiding under small trees like quail cowering under a bush. It was depressing to say the least. I met the caretaker who is a creepy looking older man with bright hazel eyes and patchy hair. He was very kind, but very unorganized. I came to find that only one of my four boxes were here and I laid down depressed to try and rest before hiking ten miles away on the LA aqueduct. 

I ended up getting a ride into town with the owner of the place who is also a millionaire who owns Omstar productions and many other companies around LA County. His name was Vic and he was around 65 years old with a good belly on him that was covered by a blue polo and lifted by bleached blue jean pants. He was a very, very kind man and asked me if I wanted a bite of his burrito. I said no politely and ate a mediocre burger to pass the time. Vic took me back to hikertown where I sat for a long time drinking water and Pepsi before leaving to begin the 16 mile stretch of the Aqueduct. 

I was about to leave when I got a text from a friend who has been ahead of me saying he was in the same place I was and after a few clarifying texts we found each other in the belly of hikertown. I decided to stay the evening to hang out with him and his hiking partner and a bunch of other hikers. We all went into town to get food and beer and watch the Warriors lose horribly in the finals before returning to chill in what is called the “Saloon” in hikertown. On the ride there we had about 10 hikers crammed into a van and on he way back I got laughing with another hiker about eating a bag of chips and he confessed that he just ate a bag of pork rinds and feels fantastic. When we got back we sat around and talked about the trail and gear and were joined by a belligerent hiker who was very eager to speak and tell stories about his life and made things awkward for the most part, but his time spent was short lived. 
I am now in my fart sac on a hard wood surface rest to pass out for a long day tomorrow. I get to see Molly in two days and that has been my main motivation for the past week. It was nice to have an evening off and rest in good company. Now it’s time to sleep and dream of pizza and kambucha. 

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