Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Day 3 : Vanishing Spork

Today's miles:15
2607 miles to go

Ominous news, rain forecast for the end of the week. Too early to worry about it right now. Woke to the sound of wind in the pines. After my multiple walks back and forth to the Mt Sports store it was dark by the time I finished dinner. Today however, the restaurant opens at eight-thirty, or someone heard. The sign in the front of the restaurant clearly said nine am.

Before breakfast I remember that I left my phone and external battery plugged into an electrical outlet outside a maintenance shed I found. I check the status, my phone is ninety-nine percent, close enough. The battery still has a ways to go. I take the phone and leave the battery.

 We listen to rumors rather than facts and show up at eight-thirty. Door’s locked. Hmmm, perhaps the sign tells the truth. The crowd in front of the restaurant grows. A dirty smelly bunch of rag-a-muffins. If I were the proprietor I wouldn't open early either, perhaps I wouldn't open at all. He is braver or probably more tolerant than me. Or maybe money is money and is doesn't matter what people look like.

I order the ‘dutchbaby’ pancake. I have no idea what that could possibly be. I also order the cobbler. There’s a funny rule where you can only order one main entree. The ‘dutchbaby’ is a main, the cobbler isn't. I like the cobbler more than the ‘dutchbaby’. Its an eggy thing cooked in a pan and sliced like square pizza. I sit and eat with Meg and Greer. They camped down below Mt Laguna about two miles with a bunch of others and walked into town this morning.

I eat quickly and head back to pack. My battery is charged. I try out the solar charger directly to my phone. Nothing. It's not the cable it's the charger. No reason to carry almost eleven ounces of dead weight! I finish packing and head to the Post Office. It's right next to the store. It's closed for another hour and a half. I ask the guy at the store if he can help. He does. I pack up my charger and mail it home. While in the store I remember I need to buy some snacks for the next two days. I buy some BBQ Fritos, some spicy trail mix, corn nuts, and a Snickers. 

I eat the Snickers while sitting with Meg as she goes through her resupply box. She dumps some of her rice and energy bars in the hiker box, but not before I snag one of her vanilla almond protein bar. I finish my snickers and head off down the trail. I back-track all the way back to the campground to pickup the PCT right where I had exited it. 

My goal today is the camp in the Boulder field at mile fifty six. I start around eleven and I anticipate hiking the fourteen miles in about five hours. The trail follows the ridge north off to the east is the Salton Sea in the distance. The terrain drops off steeply eastward and it's quite dramatic in places. I pass a number of hikers I already know and a few that I newly meet. I eat almost constantly while I hike. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. I find that eating keeps me from getting that exhausted feeling at the end of the day. I get tired but I don't bonk or crash. Many of the other hikers haven't learned this yet so they start dragging by the end of the day. 

I make it to Pioneer Mail Picnic Area and see Braveheart. We hadn't seen each other since Boulder Oaks. We get water and sit with Austin, Bear, Mike, and Travis. We talk about where we are camping and it looks like we all have the same plans. My feet feel like hamburger patties. I take off my shoes and locate two more blisters poking through the thick layers of dust. I clean them as well as I can and then tape them. Once completed I put my shoes back on it hit the trail. 

It's another hour before I get to the Boulder field . Braveheart has caught up with me and we find a couple of choice spots. Over the next three hours at least twelve or fourteen other hikers show up. There are hiker interlaced all through the Boulder field.

I find my spork! While I was packing I look in my lunch bag, there it is. While setting up camp I was telling the story to Braveheart. How I hike back and forth, the orange traffic cone. The whole thing, down to the part that I bought two things at the Mt Sports store, and it ended up that I didn't need either of them. 

Cooking dinner, guess what? I can't find my spork! Unbelievable, I know, the vanishing spork. I looked through all of my stuff, it's gone, again. I least I have the spoon. I am in my tent before dark. I'm pretty tired out. I fall asleep listening to coyotes yowl and yip in the distance, wondering about my spork.


  1. I'm so surprised you are having issues with your feet after all the training you did to toughen them up. Bummer! Glad you are building friendships and community on the trail.

  2. BBQ corn chips are the best trail food ever. And maybe you should hook that slippery spork onto a necklace so that you always have it in front of you... :)