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I got in yesterday and crashed. I did not feel good. I was sore for the first time, and I was cranky. I got something to eat, was not hungry, and drank a ton.
Before going to bed I realized I was dehydrated. I was suprised b/c I thought I had been drinking enough water, but I was not. I drank 20 oz of water before going to sleep, and my body absorbed it all overnight without me even needing to go to the restroom when I woke up.
I will spend today getting rehydrated, and make sure I drink a lot more on this next section. The issue is this next section is 7 days, and dry. The food and water combined is going to be a lot of weight. That's ok though, b/c I am almost to THE SIERRAS. I am so excited! I will be out of the worst heat, and back to water. I will also be in what some consider to be one of the most beautiful sections of trail. Highlights will include climbing Mt Whitney, hiking through the Sierras at some of the highest elevations, and most importantly...BOX MAILER IS COMING TO VISIT.
For now though, I am in Mojave, with issues to solve for. The Piute fire appears to be near the trail, and I am trying to determine if I can hike on through. Some members of the PCT list serve are trying to help me get information (The Incredible Bulk & Matt) and I very much appreciate the help. I am also going to make some calls to the Forest Service in a bit and see what I can determine.
I aslo need to figure out how to get back to the trail, b/c the road I came in on is almost unhitchable. At this point I may be walking back 11 miles. I will figure it out...it's all part of the challenges.
I have asked Box Mailer to begin sending my protein mix. I am loosing weight a little faster than anticipated, and need to slow it down a little. At this point, I believe I have lost 20-25 lbs. Once I get through the Sierras, I am hoping to carry a little more food and a little less water, which will help.
I forgot to mention the Rabote I saw yesterday. I was resting in the shade listening to the gentle murmurs of ATV's when I caught movement to my left. I looked across the ravine and saw a coyote moving up the hill. I then saw the coyote's massive ears, and realized it was the largest jack rabbit I had ever seen! I believe it to be the same type of mutation as steroid squirrel. I have decided that living creatures in CA have had to much exposure to the sun's UV rays and have begun to mutate. I mean honestly, just look at their governor. Seriously, this bunny was HUGE. He paused and raised himself on his back legs, and sniffed the air. It was astounding to just watch him. He then sensed something and bounded over the bushes and raced up the hill. No steeple chase horses I've ever seen could hold a candle to the Rabote.
I headed over to the front desk yet again to try and finagle a ride back to the trail head. I think they have finally grown weary of my pestering, and agreed to give me a ride @ 9AM tomorrow morning...just in time for the beginning of the death ray barrage. One issue resolved.
While there they gave me a rather vague reference to a bus pick-up at Carl Jr's that would take me to Stater Bros and Radio Shack. A woman had set up house in the bus stop shelter, but she seemed to know nothing about the bus. I had tried to look up the schedule on-line earlier, but the page was down.
I looked across the parking lot and saw an older gentleman seeking shade under a tree, with all of his worldly posessions in a cart next to him. I walked over and asked him about the bus. He was very articulate and friendly, and told me there were no regular pick-ups anymore. I would need to call transit for a ride. We chatted a minute and I headed down the sidewalk in thought. I had decided I could certainly walk a mile or so. I was almost looking forward to it with no pack.
I headed through the back streets and empty lots, and the time passed quickly. The man I had spoken to was clearly homeless, but he was also very bright, and appeared well educated by self or formally. He was also probably the friendliest person I had met, and seemed happy and at peace with his position. Since arriving, I have done everything on foot in a town that does not seem that familiar with hikers. People seem to avoid me, and are a little standoffish if I try to ask questions. They are not unfriendly, just a little unsure I guess. It is much more difficult to get the things I need, and it is very frustrating.
I was frustrated about having to walk a mile down to Stater Bros. and Radio Shack. After speaking with the older gentleman I not only did not mind walking the 2 plus miles, I actually enjoyed the walk there and back.
Tom and Matt have been helping me with fire information, and I got on-line and made some calls this morning. The Piute fire is burning next to the trail, and the fire service official I spoke with said I "should be ok.". All access roads west of the PCT have been closed, but the PCT is still open. I can see big billows of smoke rising over the mountains. It is a little unsettling to be walking that close to an active wildfire, and also not much fun to spend several days in smoke, but maybe it will block some of the death rays. I am also hoping that by the time I reach Kennedy Meadows, the trail closed to the Clover fire will have been reopened. I managed to miss the Apache fire, so hopefully my luck will hold out.