Friday, May 22, 2009

There's a bicycle under a bush 22 miles from Neenatch

I drove out to hide my bicycle at the end of the Condor Trail so I'll have a way to get to the PCT without having to walk 22 miles along highways in the blazing hot sun.

I hid it under a bush. I hope nobody sees it. Despite trying to cover it with brush, of which there seemed to be so little in the general area, parts of it did glint in the sun at certain angles. It's possible somebody could see it. But most people are not very observant and I don't think anyone will. If they do, I hope they leave it alone.

After dropping the bike off, I decided to drive out to Hikertown and see if there were any hikers out there. I zeroed out my trip odometer. It measured nearly 22 miles to Hikertown. That's a very long way to walk only a few inches from traffic. I'm going to be very happy to see that bicycle.

I stopped at Hikertown and parked outside the gate. I walked in and saw a bunch of hikers under the tree in the front yard. Everybody looked happy and said hello to me. I said hello and when I said I was Piper half of them already knew me from my journal. I said I was there to give a ride to the store if anyone needed to go. I took two groups of two, because I only have a pick-up truck. I was also invited to go out to Lancaster to the Hometown Buffet. I almost went, but it seemed to be taking too long for people to get it together, plus they were going to stop at Home Depot and I figured with Memorial Day traffic and being a Friday afternoon it might be best to just shuffle off to Buffalo.

I met lots of nice people. I can't remember everybody's name, but there was Crop Duster, Stove and Alex, and Spiderwoman was there. Spiderwoman hiked last year and the last time I saw her she came up to talk to me at a ranger station where they handed out free rust-colored bleach water. Blech. Thank goodness I made it to the next water source without having to drink any. Anyway, Spiderwoman came up to me as I ate tangerines with Yard Sale and Weeble and she spoke a million miles an hour. So fast I had no idea what she said except it was something about hoping to be able to get back on the trail soon. Turned out she never did so she had returned to hike again this year and was very happy to have made it beyond where she had had to turn back last time.

There is a chance I may see some of these people again. With the way I'm skipping around Central and Northern California, it's possible. But it is not likely I'll see them before I get to Lone Pine.

It felt nice to be around people like me again. I realize that part of my funk lately has been due to sitting at home all alone with little to do and nowhere to go. It's good to have somewhere to go with other people who are going the same way.

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