Day 31: That’s One Way

Tuesday, June 6
Start: ridgetop
Stop: Tehachapi
11.5 miles
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 couldn’t get these flowers in focus but the grass really pops!

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 (presumptuously) that 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.

Me and my Bubby, the owl. We’ve been traveling together since Crater Lake 2013.

7 thoughts on “Day 31: That’s One Way

  1. Sorry to hear things are a bit shitty. In past years the hikers on the pct seemed so friendly and supportive. Sounds like as it gets more popular it gets less friendlier. Is this true do you think? Hugs x

    1. Hey Anna, thank you for your kind message. The PCT of old is definitely not what I’ve experienced this year. I speculate that it’s perhaps my age gap between the millennials and the fact that there are way more people. People have formed their clicks and don’t need to go outside that group. Plus maybe people feel like there’s just too many to say hi to? Regardless of the reason, I’m still shocked when PCT hikers ignore my presence on trail.

      1. Yeh I can’t believe it either. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to say a quick hi. Sadly it’s the way the world is going these days… People don’t have time for others or are too self absorbed in their own world. Anyway I’m sure whatever decision you make regarding the trail will be the right one for you! Best wishes,

  2. LionHeart, we both know this isn’t true. I don’t appreciate how you’ve conveniently left out facts regarding this mishap that you were responsible for, and how I’ve had to now explain myself to our mutual hiking friends and trail angels. People are contacting me concerned.
    Your entire blog is written in victim mentality. I’m upset that you’ve chosen to slander me on a public forum, because this is not representative of who I am. Think of the impact of potential future hiking partnerships. I do not leave people I care about behind.

  3. Hiking alone and an older woman, I came upon a water source where three girls were standing…. said a cheery hello to all and was completely ignored. Their loss I thought and then I really felt bad for them to be so pretty on the outside and so ugly inside. Most of the young men and older people were very friendly and nice to me.

  4. Why do you care so much about what other people think about you? Met you in Wrightwood and thought you were kinda rude. Maybe that’s why people aren’t engaging with you?

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