Well we got out of our stalls at last to load up and go. My nail's pad, the V pad (called the frog) I have under the hoof, is still sore and once in a while, not always on a rock but of course yes if there is a sizeable one, I stumble to get the weight off of it. Our driver seemed impervious to my state and after a while I seemed to warm up and not have it bother me too much. The trail was sandy and few rocks so I even took pleasure in going around the hills, seeing pampas type fields of dry grass in front of us and the terrain was not abrupt.
We met a South African woman potter and he even stopped us under trees to sit and share a strawberry with this woman whose feet were much worse than mine. She was walking in thongs to not have her blisters rub … In South Africa it's the winter break so she's hiking the PCT having filled the stores with her wares. I wanted to change my life … this is a recurring theme of the PCT. By doing this I prove myself something while living a life totally different than my daily routines.
What makes life worthwhile is the creative, or awareness of change that occurs when we seek it. In arts, hobbies, sports or any activity that is driven by us … or for us … and TV, games (depending on if they develop a skills set ) or even films are a reality substitutes. Reality substitutes have two faces like the mask of the theatre, either it's “fake”, a type of psychological formatting, or it's “real” challenging us to think, feel, have emotions. The tool is used for a message, there is a type of “medium's message” or “massage”, yet it can be a powerful tool for learning, experiencing … like simulators to learn how to fly.
This is the land of the films. Hollywood is near and this “backcountry” is where they filmed the series, the climate and the natural “decor” is really what you find in films of the far west. Only much later did they move crews to film “on site”. And my feet are starting to hurt again, the last 3 miles were starting to be painful, I stumbled more often.
Warner Springs is a town that used to be active with a natural hot water resort, but financial manipulations forced it to shut down and many lost their jobs. This seems to have built a group cohesion of which one example is the community centre in front of the school. Manned by volunteers, they offer a full service station at low prices. Laundry, shower, full diner, hamburgers, breakfast, small re-supply shop with things hikers really need. All this by volunteers who manage to raise money to offer the kids in school outings and experiences. Bravo!
Us he parked us in the non used part of the sports field where we are reducing the risk of fire by conscientiously rolling down the grass, pissing and leaving manure, and most of all eating a rather tasty variety of grass that has come to maturity under the trees and is already dead & dry where exposed to the sun. We make sure to kick over the water pan so he has to go get some at least 5 times a day, or else we would not see him for hours. He is in there trying to get me shoes. As if I was a ballerina! Should I be happy or incensed? Well anyhow he sure spent the hours but thinks he has a potential solution. Since they only make horse boots, he can buy a horse boot which is too wide, and then fill the space with Epoxy while making sure it does not stick on me. Then he can take the shoe off or put it on at will. He thinks that if I wear these a couple of weeks until my nails grow at least ½ an inch, then he'll be able to progressively take them off and thus regulate the use of my nails. Not bad for a Frenchman … I hope it works and that they are PINK. If he gets some for grumpy brother, yes he has been grumpy lately because I got oats to eat my medication and he did not.
Well, it's raining, yes sir! It is RAINING in southern california in May. I knew this country was not our delicious Arizona where it's dry all year. Well I've known rain of course but only 3 to 5 days a year! Not this misty fog that drips and penetrates to the joints. And it's cold even if it makes delicious wisps of mist above the brown burnt hills. Thank goodness we have a beautiful ancient oak tree under which to graze. NO ! Of course I'll not go under it when HE looks at me. He isn't going to get me by being nice now! He has made me walk while me feet hurt and he's going to pay!
But I must say, if he did not put us in a stall at night (request by the wonderful woman responsible for the site), we are rather well here. Even my foot seems to get better. I won't tell him of course but these 4 out of 5 days of rest have given me a bit of energy.
So we'll leave the 8th of Mai and the next stops for 5 or 6 days until Idyllwild will be short days 6 to 10 miles depending on water availability. A pair of boots should be waiting when we cross Highway 74 at the café. The woman on the phone reminded me of “Alice's Restaurant” … a film I had loved. Especially for the sequence of “blind justice” …
The campers are organizing themselves, one having his girl friend visit, has made a group order of hamburgers and drinks. They should arrive in an hour … Well goodnight for now, he's made enough guitar music for the night and I'm tired.