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OurDailyTread - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2014

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Wesley Bergen
City: Hannibal
State: Missouri
Country: USA
Begins: Jun 6, 2014
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Fri, Jul 4th, 2014
Start: Saufley's (455)
End: Hikertown (517.6)
Daily Distance: 0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 2,033
Journal Visits: 2,733
Guestbook Views: 242
Guestbook Entrys: 2

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Snake Charmer and Lady Luck at Vasquez Rocks

A Series of Late Updates - part 1

But of course, my prediction of updating the blog within a week was horribly under-informed. It is closer to three weeks now since I last had the chance to sit at a computer, since woodland Internet cafes are still in short supply. Unfortunately, there have been too many trail experiences in the technology-free interval for me to really hammer out a coherent but still truthful narrative. I will have to write in little episodes of what I remember. Leaving the Saufley's and the Hollywood town of Agua Dulce, Snake charmer and Lady Luck walked with me north towards the hot sands of the Sierra Pelona mountains. We were delayed, waiting for iPod to return our laundry and I needing his help to send some cold weather gear ahead to Kennedy Meadows (iPod actually turning out to be a sinister figure, as I'll have to explain later). After our later-than-hoped-for start we marched all day in blazing desert heat to set up cool evening camp beneath towering power lines, big silver monsters that crackled with potent force all night while below us lay the Bouquet Reservior, glimmering like a fantasy in the evening sun. It was apparent soon enough that our campsite high up on these hills was also a popular toilet, and as I pounded my tent stakes with a stone into the hard-packed sand each stroke brought more toilet paper to the surface. Ignoring this, because what else could we do, I slept and woke early next day to my first truly cold morning. Covered in dew I regretted sending my down jacket and rain fly ahead. Hurriedly eating a warming breakfast, we hiked our way towards another trail angel, my second, the Andersons, who call their abode Casa de Luna. The Andersons, who got into the trail angeling scene because of an argument over the ingredients of a soup, also maintain some water caches around the San Francisquito Canyon area. We found the jewel of these caches, "The Oasis:" a grove of Manzanita bushes shading a cooler full of soda, sometimes (but not today) beer, armchairs, 40 gallons of water, and half-inflated beach themed floaties. Here we rested, drying out our dewy equipment in the surprisingly hot 9 am sun. This bizarre display piqued our interest in the Andersons, and we set off with some heightened excitement toward Casa de Luna (I, days before, having seen a man walking In a Casa de luna hat and already being a little curious at the logo). Descending to the San Francisquito canyon road, we hitched a ride from a man in a Hawaiian shirt driving a rented car. Oldies were blaring from the car stereo as he picked us up, and I dont think the volume dropped at all as we piled in the small blue car. "Heard of Casa de Luna? That's where we're going," I yelled. "Nope," was the loud reply through thick mostache. "Where is it?" None of us knowing exactly where it was, we figured it might be obvious if we could just get in the general vicinity. The house itself was, sure enough, easily found after a few short twists and a wild U-turn into oncoming traffic. There was the House of Moon, all yellow and shady with big moldy couches set up in a rough circle on the leaf-strewn driveway and an unbelievable amount of trash set out for what must have been next days garbage. Yard decorations covered the lawn, suspended suns and moons made of cast iron and lanterns and sculpted figures of childhood fable, spinning golden threads of shiny metal, and to top it off a working gas stove outside under an awning where Lady Luck would soon cook lunch. Terry Anderson came outside and greeted us each with a big welcoming hug and an invitation to make ourselves comfortable, taco salad would be made if we stayed for dinner. Laying on one of the couches was Happy Feet, a Bay-area hiker I met earlier at the Saufley's. We sat, and those moldy couches on the driveway were a welcome repose in the shade of a massive oak, we being no cleaner than those ratty couches anyway. The afternoon blazed away, and I sipped contentedly at a beer reading Atlantic articles while Happy Feet dozed and Lady Luck and Snake Charmer planned ahead and stretched sore muscles. We were considering staying for taco salad when happy feet got a call back from a trail angel promising a ride 20 miles up the road to hiker town. Normally bypassing 20 miles of trail-which is, most of a day' work- would be turned down by any serious through hiker. But the section was a road walk, and us just doing a miserable road walk before the Saufley's was plenty of incentive to take the ride, roads being incredibly efficient reflectors of heat (the ride turning out to be a good idea amyway since the road had no real shoulder and passed by a lake that locals variously described as smelling like "rotten broccoli" and "dead body." The smell of the lake eventually permeated even the car's air conditioning, and we all sat choking on noxious lake-stench for miles beyond the water. We whizzed by a small ostrich farm and what was apparently a wolf rescue center and arrived at hiker town in a short half hour. A groundskeeper collected my mandatory donation and showed me to a dusty rv on blocks- my humble room for the night. I haven't spent much time in rvs, but I like the idea of a small place to live: all you need and nothing more in a modest space. There is little pretension about an rv, or any small home, and they seem to say communicate simplicity and intimacy. But this rv was full of bad vibes and grit, no airflow and obvious neglect, and I was kept awake late into the night by strange creaking noises while the bare mattress sent up endless dust from the ages with my every move. I slid open the skylight above my head and convinced myself I was breathing in fresh starlit california desert night air and not the air from the foul rv and fell asleep in preparation for the next day's hike across the Mojave flats.

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Our Daily Tread

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org

 

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