Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


The "real" world...

I'm back in the "real" world again.  Big Bear City, California.  Haven't seen much of it but I hear there is a Sizzler (Read: Buffet) and a local restaurant that shouldn't be missed, plus another one that has a burrito that apparently can't be eaten by anyone in one sitting.  Wow, do they KNOW that this is a trail town with thru-hikers?
Since nothing that I could write in this small amount of time could adequately get across what this experience is like, I'll just touch on some notable milestones and happenings.
Big Bear City is at mile two hundred seventy something, so I've done one tenth of the south to north mileage.  Sounds good, but apparently there are still almost 500 miles of "desert" left before the high sierra.  A few days ago I was sloshing through melting spring snowdrifts at more than 9,000 feet.  The next day I was camping near Interstate 10 in Los Angeles smog with windmills spinning in the distance, having descended more than 7,000 feet.  The stars are incredible at night.  My longest day so far was 26.2 miles, but that included an 18+ mile road walk because some of the PCT was closed due to a fire.  Today was about a 21 mile day, as was yesterday.  I forget.  Days run together, but that's OK.  Flowers and lizards and clouds and sky all blend into one near-stream of consciousness.  My toes don't look like parts of my own body after a day of hiking in the dust and dirt.  On my legs I find tiny brown spots where the sweat comes out of my pores and collects the trail grime.  My blisters are no longer a bother.  I see where they were but now I've got some kind of protective covering grown over them, foot armor.  My leg muscles are strong and tight, and I'm starting to see less flab around the love handles.  My fingernails are almost always packed with dirt.
Saw a coyote the other morning as it trotted away from its den.  It looked over, then headed off up a hillside and over to where I knew there was a view of Mount San Jacinto, almost 11,000 feet high.  Water is a joy.  In the last section I've been able to take a shallow dip in a stream and soak my feet a few times, which has been great for morale.  The thing is, the views and feelings of freedom are so great that morale has not been a problem, even in the searing heat.  Hiking in the high 80s feels good to me.
There is lightning when I sleep.  Basically I have this poorly made sleeping bag liner and when I get into the bag the static electricity discharges and I get little zaps of lightning arcing around.  It's like a storm inside the tent, or outside if I'm cowboy camping, which I prefer.
Trail magic has struck a few times lately.  Beers last night, plus fresh bananas.  Several places have had water caches in unexpected places.  This morning I came across some pink lemonade, sodas, and candy including Skittles and Baby Ruth bars.  Sugar buzz.  So far I'd say the best trail magic was the spot just before I hit I-10.  There was a lady who worked for the BLM who welcomes hikers to visit her place, and when I showed up there was cold orange juice, cold beer, Little Debbie snacks, pretzels, cold snap beans, and ... wait for it ... chilled blackberries bigger than grapes.  Amazing.
More people need the computer here so I'm off, but maybe I can post some pictures tomorrow.  Peace.


Anonymous Carolyn said...

Hi Bobcat. I am struck by the fact that you are the one who is living in the "real world." At my nine to five gig, I am lucky to see the sky for an hour a day. My work is abstract, and does not relate directly to my survival, except in the tangential sense that my salary provides the means for life's necessities. In such an environment, it is easy to become a clockwatcher. Time can pass by unbearably slowly when one is in a tank, working in an isolated fashion to produce word product that has a very limited business or research use. The best of my human interactions during the work day take place on Facebook! So stay cool, and keep living the National Geographic life.

1:38 PM  

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