Woke up a bit late. Last night I set my tent on a slope so my legs were elevated. Trying to keep the swelling down on the right one. Seems to work, but every time I roll over, I slide downhill until my head is surrounded in tent. Maybe all that blood flow to my brain is making me smarter 🙂
Plan was to do 12 miles to Golden Oaks Spring by 12 pm and wait out the heat. That didn’t work out very well. Starting late, 85+ by 10, exposed trail. The trail designers didn’t disappoint. It was 2,300 up and 2,300 feet down. Thanks.
I hiked with a couple of guys for a few miles. Turns out one of them was a dude I ran into during one of my worst days days where I got lost over and over again. I had intersected him after saving No English from a similar fate. He has been hiking 10 to 15’s the whole trail….slow but steady I guess. Would have liked to chat with him longer. He is from Torrance and had a lot of interesting stats about his generation (he is 23). Said that Millennials are generally not interested in restaurants and night clubs, preferring to cook in with a group of friends. If folks are ordering stuff from Amazon AND not going out to eat, a lot of traditional retail businesses are drying up. Knew that was the trend, but I wonder how folks actually socialize with strangers. Maybe it is replaced with all the social media outlets.
I outpaced those guys and hiked a bit with a couple of gals who just graduated from college. They decided to start at Tehachapi for their thru, so this was the first day on the trail. One graduated in environmental science and was doing some research for the forest service, which she will continue when she gets back. Her research is tree coverage in the Philadelphia area for each decade from the 60’s to today. Looks at old photographs counting 10,000 points in each decade. Covered 7,000 so far. Apparently it has increased from 17% to 23% today. So I guess that is good.
Arrived at Golden Oaks hot, exhausted, and thirsty. Had maybe a liter left. There must have been 20 folks all clustered around the water. Small flow coming out of a plastic pipe into a big concrete trough. There are tadpoles and scummy algea growing all over it. Fortunately the the flowing water was clear, so I filled up and lounged with the rest of the crew.
There is a dude there who has been barfing for the last day or so. He definitely caught something nasty….which I don’t want. Most of us are thinking the same thing. There is a 5 foot open space around him. Heh.
Loaded up at 5ish to do a few more miles. Hooked up with an English dude named Mayo and a guy named Baton for the last 2 miles. Mayo and I camped at a spot around 587 next to a load of windmills. Mayo is an interesting character. Just retired from the National Health Service. He hiked the AT about 10 years ago and wanted to do another one, so here he is. Gave me the scoop on hiking Scotland. Says that it is nice in May and June. After that, you are followed by a cloud of these biting bugs that rise up from the ground to follow you around. I’ll definitely remember that.
These must be older versions of the wind turbines. The things are loud. Sounds like I’m next to a factory. Mayo says I should imagine it the air conditioning in a hotel room. Whatever.
16 miles today. My mileage is sucking.
It is getting hard to adjust being in a different hiker bubble. All the folks I got to know over the past 4 weeks are now way ahead of me. Now I have to learn a whole new set of names again.