Day 34: Mile 643.7 to mile 654.3 (10.6, 17km)
I’m still in the bloody desert!! Argh. When does this end? I thought the start of the Sierra map series would mean a change but noooo 😱 it just keeps going.
I fear my blog is starting to be repetitive. I’ll try and keep it short.
4:30am start. More desert not really paying attention too to what’s around too much, just moving north and putting on foot in front of the other.
Out to Hwy 178 by 9:00am.
Tried to hitch to Ridgecrest for half hour or so but no rides until a day hiker coming back from and early morning jaunt offered me a ride. He wasn’t even headed to Ridgecrest but said he had nothing else to do all day except meet some friends at a camp ground further up the trail tonight. Perfect! I’ll take it. There is a bus to town to operates today but I’ve missed it by several hours and the next isn’t for another few hours with no shaded place to wait.
Great conversation towards Ridgecrest and I got dropped right where I needed to be, a place with a motel, supermarket, burger joint and bus stop.
I found a $50 hotel, paid for a room and was able to check in on the spot. I had every intention of staying for the night and escaping the heat but that changed later on.
Walking straight into to the shower fully clothes I scrubbed the baked on dirt and grime from the last couple of days and bit my best to wash my clothes with hotel soap and shampoo. The water was a dark chocolate brown to begin with.
Showered and in town clothes it was straight over to subway in an attempt to fuel up in a healthier sort of way, then over to the supermarket to buy lunch items to see me through to Kennedy Meadows. After that it was time for a lie down.
I had the aircon going full on. For such a cheap and dated motel I’m just thankful it worked. The trip to town was meant to escape the heat but it was hotter down here than on the trail at 107 degrees F (forty freakin two Celsius!). Tomorrow was going to be the same in town.
On the spur of the moment at around 6pm I check the bus schedule. It runs 3 times a day, three days a week, with the last bus leaving in 40 mins. I decided right then and there if I was to get this bloody desert finished I’d better make a move and walk into the evening. Otherwise it was wait in town another day which I didn’t want to do in low 40’s temperatures.
Getting my kit organised I checked out, heading to the bus stop via Arby’s, another burger place. I’m loving these American burgers if you can’t tell.
2 other hikers had the same idea and we caught 20 mile ride (for $3) back to the trail.
It was 7:30pm when I stepped onto the trail again. Pushing another 2 miles up a hill to a small campsite. It wasn’t a lot of distance but I’m moving north.