Elevation- 1,654 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 3.8 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 210.8 miles
Weather/Temp- overcast,windy, 60s, 70s
Injuries- object in leg
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 1
Today has easily been my most frustrating day on the trail yet. Mainly because things have gone from “just walking,” to just trying to “find a ride” to an open section of trail over two hours away (by vehicle). In the heat of the moment, I normally despise logistics; they give me headache. Trying to figure out reasonable transportation with a dog can be a nightmare sometimes, especially when you’re a stranger in a strange land, and doubly so when that strange land is mostly in the middle of nowhere, or somewhere that’s oblivious to the trail.
Despite all of that, if the trail has taught me one thing, it’s that the more “chaotic” an adventure gets, the more fun it usually is. You simply have to relax and go with the flow. Even if it may be stressful at the moment, it will usually turn into a funny memory, story, or adventure. So when I feel the stress starting to rise when options are evaporating or seemingly non existent, I pause, take a breath, and remind myself that something is going to give soon; and it’s all part of the adventure.
So early this morning we paid an “uber” driver to take us back to the road where we left off, near the base of the mountain. We had nearly a 4 mile walk across a flat space of desert, under an overpass for interstate 10, then another mile and a half to a hostel that resided slightly off the trail.
The hostel was called “White Water Hostel,” and was run by an elderly couple named Ziggy and Bear. The goal was to figure out a ride to Bear City in order to bypass the fire closure.
The main option that other hikers were utilizing was a shuttle from the hostel to San Bernardino, then a 6 hour bus ride to bear city. This would have been a good option if it wasn’t for the fact that katana wasn’t allowed on the bus. So our options dwindled and became more expensive.
After sitting around for a couple hours and mulling over the options of “making a run for it” through the fire closure (risking a $2500 fine), or road walking over 50 miles to Big Bear (not fun, or safe), I decided to be social and see what some of the other hikers were thinking/doing.
Sure enough, a female hiker named “old school” had a friend who happened to be flying into the area tomorrow afternoon, and was going to shuttle her up to Big Bear. The lucky break came when I found out that the vehicle was a seven seater suv. Besides the driver, three other seats were taken. That left three more, which were then offered to myself, Schweppes, Mason, and CatFox, for free.
So just like that, after about a day of sweating the transportation situation (on top of already being bitter about missing some of the trail), all our problems were solved.
It’s now a waiting game until noon tomorrow. In the mean time, I’m laying around the carpeted back yard of this hostel, fielding Catfox questions, and making new acquaintances. We’ll see what happens on the morrow…
Go to my book, “Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail”