Tuesday, June 6
Total Miles: 380
Yep, it was a bad spot to camp. The PCT joins a road atop the ridge but when hikers get there they don’t know which way to go. They go back and forth on the road, talking to their hiking buddies with headlamps blazing, until they figure out which way to go. I’m having a hard time falling asleep and so it seems that everytime I’m about to nod off, another round of hikers come up the trail. I toss and turn the rest of the night and get maybe three hours sleep.
I know it’s going to be hot so I’m on trail by 510am. I’m exhausted from the lack of sleep but I’ve got to push myself. I roll into Bear Spring and collect water. A couple ladies arrive not long after and they shout, “Is that the water?”
“Yes and good morning,” I say. They come up towards the spring, drop their packs and grab their water bottles. Maybe they mumbled good morning back but I’m not sure. One girl asks about eating breakfast there and the other girl agrees but complains about the crow chatter in the trees above. But mostly there is just silence as they say nothing to me. It’s almost as if I’m not even there. Granted, I don’t chat them up either because I am kinda testing to see if they will actually say anything to me. In a split second I decide to hike the road into Green Valley and so I take only 2 liters of water instead of 3-4 liters for the next 15 miles.
I hike Bouquet Canyon road until I turn onto Spunky Canyon Road. I climb up and over into Green Valley and I’m on the outskirts when a car gives me a lift the rest of the way into town. Heart and Soul Cafe has wonderful breakfast burritos and chai tea. Cell service is pretty intermitent but I text Lil’ Buddha that I’m at the cafe. Slim Shady rolls in and we chat about the trail. Lil’ Buddha texts back that he’s at the Andersons/Casa de Luna already. Then Caveman and Hot Lips roll in and we chat about the trail some more. Just before 1pm, Jennifer, a Heart and Soul employee offers a ride over to the Andersons. The four of us pile into her car and we’re there in no time. Terrie greets us with hugs, gives us the tour and tells me that Lil’ Buddha was here looking for me. As in he already left.
Several other hikers mention that Lil’ Buddha was here looking for me. Terrie also tells me that he was mentioning a cafe in Lake Hughes. But I’m just so shocked and stupefied. Could he really have hiked out without me? Last night we talked through the plan of today which was to get to the Andersons, spend the night and then head to Lake Hughes tomorrow. Lil’ Buddha even told me that if/when he got to the San Francisquito Road before me he would wait an hour and then head into the Andersons and get us a couple camping spots in the magical manzanita forest.
I sit for hours thinking maybe he will be back but by 4pm it’s becoming very clear. He has hiked out and is not coming back. It’s like the final nail in the coffin. I’ve been struggling with the “Why again?” and if you’ve been following my blog, you’ve seen the writing on the wall. I know I’m done. And so, do I want to sit here feeling pretty sad that my friend would leave me? Or do I just want to get the fuck out?
Somehow I have 3G service at the Andersons so I look into Uber options. Tehachapi is a long ride but worth it. I’m just so sad that a friend would do this to me and I’m over this non-communicative hiker scene. I get the last room at a hotel and soothe my wounds with a shower.