Day 26: Mile 478.2 to mile 504.6 Bear Campground (26.4 Mile, 42km)
These early starts are just not happening for me at the moment. I woke as normal at 4:30am, was packed and walking out to start the 1.4 mile road walk back to the trail by 5:15am but I kept thinking, where is your wallet? I didn’t remember packing it. So on the roadside by headlamp I spilled my pack and went through it. No wallet! Oh fuck!
I definitely had it with me last night as I remember pulling cash out to pay for beers, but it definitely wasn’t with me now. Panic stations. I have some spare cash hidden in my pack for emergencies but all my cards and other cash were in my wallet. If not found this could spell the end of this trip or at least a long delay to sort out new cards out.
Lucky I followed my gut instinct by checking now and not further down the trail. With no other option I back tracked to Casa De Luna in the hope that someone found it and kept it safe. I got back there soon enough but wouldn’t known anything for a while yet. They do a pancake breakfast at 6am so I just had to wait until there was some movement from inside.
As I came back one of the volunteers was up and about thinking that I was just coming in for the day. “Gee you’re here early!” he said as I tipped my pack upside again for a second look. “No” I said “I hit the road earlier but came back, I can’t find my wallet”.
“Oh really. What’s your name?”
“Hotshot. Mick Beckers.”
“Oh your wallet is inside. It was found last night but we’ll have to wait for the house to open.”
Phew!!! Crisis averted. Nothing for it now but to sit back, partake in the pancake breakfast and coffee and possibly get a ride back to the trail. No early start again. Oh well.
Wallet in hand and with a full stomach I jumped in the tray of a 4×4 with about 10 others and got a ride to the trail.
Other than the wallet storey above, I did walk today as well. A little bit up early on, then down, then mostly flat. Found the best shady spot for lunch and was joined by the 10 or so other hikers.
Water was a challenge today. There was one spring with a slow trickle. You could tell you arrived at it as there was a que. A que, on trail, for water. Wow. It took 15 minutes or so waiting in line. Other water sources for the day were a series of underground cistern’s, guzzlers and tanks. Using the Guthooks App that has live comments from hikers about the quality and quantity of water sources it was a case between choose the one with the dead snake in it, the mozzie larvae or an off trail tank. I went for the off trail tank as it sounded the cleanest although added several miles to my day.
I hit the 500 mark late in the day as well. Yay! The marker is actually at 502. That is a huge effort but a long way to go yet.
After another marathon day I pulled into Bear Campground at 6:30pm to find only one other tent. Where is everyone? It’s Memorial Day long weekend and I expected lots of weekend warriors and PCT hikers but no. That’s ok though as I can pack up for a hopefully early morning start without disturbing anyone.
The long waterless LA aqueduct is coming up and I need to get myself setup for it. The plan: early morning start to get 13 miles in the morning to Hiker Town, hole up there for the day; leave at 6pm to get a few miles in fully stocked up with water; cowboy camp for a few hours; and start the aqueduct at 3am to walk it in the dark to use less water.