Is Lion Heart Off Trail For Good?

Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10
I slept so damn well that I’m thinking, hey, maybe I can just jump back on trail. I chat with Lil’ Buddha again about my options. He suggests renting a car and coming home for a few days. I’m reluctant to leave trail but I still have the missing utility money and key situation to deal with. Plus, Lil’ Buddha promises that we’ll return to the trail together. I am afraid that if I leave I won’t come back at all. Other bonuses of heading home are getting some cuddle time with my kitties, surprising my parents at SFO and spending Mother’s Day with my mom.

The view to the north from my room.
And the view back towards the San Jacintos

I book an Enterprise car reservation and then I call to get a pick-up. The lady informs me that there are no cars but there will be some this afternoon. I also call my brother for the third time and leave a message. I shoot off an in-your-face email to my renter friend, pretty much accusing her of not leaving any money or key. I get a late checkout of the Morongo at noon and then head over to the Starbucks. I get a response from renter friend and she’s totally offended but offers to pay again as a sign of good faith.

I proceed to sit in Starbucks for the next 4 hours. Enterprise still has no cars. How is it possible to make a reservation for a car when there are no cars available? It really seems that no cars will materialize today but they might be getting some cars tomorrow. In a split second I decide to take a $35 Lyft ride to the Redlands Enterprise office where they will have some kind of car for me. The economy cars are gone and they try to tell me that I’m going to have to pay for a larger car. Ummm, NO! They make it right and by 6pm I’m pulling out for my drive home. I’m still on hiker time so I can only manage to drive until about 11pm. I pull off at a rest stop and sorta sleep for the next 6 hours. I almost hit traffic going through Sacramento and roll into Ukiah about 10am. Lil’ Buddha picks me up, we get groceries and go to my parents’ town house. I spend the next 30 minutes clearing sheets from beds, putting away dishes, and emptying the garbage left by my EX-renter friend. We call and get an appointment for a lock smith to come tomorrow. And then it’s home up the mountain for some kitty hugs.

Thursday, May 11
It’s back to the mountain routine of washing eggs for egg day. I call my brother for the fourth time in six days and leave another message. We go to town later because of the lock smith appointment and $150 dollars gets me new locks installed. Hmmm, should I call my brother to let him know that I’ve changed the locks? Maybe he’ll actually call me back when he can’t get in. We’re just leaving town and my phone rings. Darwin knows I’ve been calling but he claims to not have gotten my messages because of Verizon. I inform him that I had my EX-renter friend leave and that because she didn’t leave money or key, I had to change the locks. Very nonchalantly and with a touch of cavalier, he informs me that he picked up the money. I ask him what day he picked it up but he doesn’t know. Very calmly I explain that I had to rent a car to come home to deal with this. Plus change the locks. All because he took the money and key without telling anyone. There’s no apology and I can’t help but wonder if he did all this on purpose. Lil’ Buddha and I drive home in utter disbelief. Speechless!

Stellar views at home on the mountain

Friday, May 12
We wake up to find out that my parents’ flight will arrive today at SFO around noon. So it’s rush and do a little cleaning before embarking on the 3+ hour drive. We wait at the international terminal and watch the tv monitor as passengers from all over the world pour out. The greetings are so touching that I find myself pushing back the tears. Who knew this was such fascinating entertainment? We wait for over an hour and still no parents. I’m starting to think that they’ve gotten themselves arrested going through customs. And then suddenly I see my mom being wheeled out on the monitor (you can see who’s coming before they come out the final exit) so Buddha and I rush into our places. He’s got a “Smart” sign in his hands and I hear my mom let out a loud “Buddha” as she sees him. Lil’ Buddha distracts my parents as I sneak behind them. And then I pop out with my sign “very” and my mom shrieks and cries and she wraps her hands around my waist. It’s the kind of commotion that I’m sure everyone is now looking at us. They don’t have their checked luggage and it turns out that it never got on the plane in Amsterdam. And it also turns out that my mom was not in a hospital in London but in Tenerife. So they’ve had to take a series of flights just to get home. We make the long trek home and share stories the whole way. Lil’ Buddha is a wonderful story teller and we are in stitches with his rendition of the fox getting caught in the trap. We get home with just enough time to take care of chores before sundown.

Ceanothus Moth

Saturday, May 13
I overhear a phone conversation between my Dad and my brother and my brother is raging mad. His rage on the phone is quite illuminating and I feel my suspicion that he took the money and key intentionally is confirmed. Lil’ Buddha and I go to town in the early evening to meet my Ex-renter friend because she forgot to remove her son’s bike. It’s a humble pie, eat crow experience as I have to apologize for accusing her of leaving no money and key. I guess we part ways on amicable terms but I’m still pissed that she was trying to negotiate what she owed and that she didn’t fix the hole in the bathroom wall. Lesson learned. Very few live their life with the same integrity that I do.

The bike is the perfect size for this homie

Sunday, May 14
We have Mother’s Day brunch and then we turn a tub and chocolate mint ice cream. It’s Lil’ Buddhas first time cranking a tub and it turns out he’s a master ice cream maker.

Buddha the ice cream maker

Monday, May 15
Lil’ Buddha and I make a plan to get back on trail in Big Bear. We make a car rental and hotel reservation for Thursday. And we might have eaten the wild turkey eggs.

Wild turkey egg. Hard to crack and very orange.

Thursday, May 18
My departure feels rushed, like I didn’t have time to do everything that I needed to get done. Nonetheless, we rent the car around noon and hit the road. The car reeks of smoke and Lil’ Buddha dubs it the Silver Ashtray. Progress is slow because we stop in Cloverdale for lunch and then hit up the REI in Santa Rosa. After I get on the road that cuts across from 101 to the 80, it is mostly stop and go and it takes FOREVER. We stop somewhere near Los Banos for dinner and then I just keep on driving and driving into the dark abyss of night. We see a roadside ghost and I dodge a rabbit. Somehow I manage to do all the driving and we pull into Big Bear about 2am.

Crossing the Sacramento River

Friday, May 19
At the beginning of the drive yesterday, we decided to zero today. It really took the pressure off and I felt better instantly. During the drive my allergies took a turn for the worse being in the ashtray car. I sniffled the whole way to Big Bear and awoke today feeling absolutely miserable. We run our errands with the car and then return it to Hertz. The guy that works there could care less about our ashtray car and tells us to call corporate. After we hike nearly 2 miles back to Motel 6 with sick person groceries in hand, I collapse in bed and fall asleep for nearly 4 hours. I feel a little better but it is short lived and I stay in bed the rest of the evening watching Maid in Manhattan and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Saturday, May 20
What’s better than one zero? Two zeros. I feel better today but not trail ready. Fingers crossed for hitting the trail tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Is Lion Heart Off Trail For Good?

  1. Go Jennifer! It’s great to share your adventures–I especially appreciate your sharing authentic emotions–it will help you stay on trail XX Geri

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