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Friday, March 24, 2017

CAMPO to ANZA, CALIFORNIA



My week at Borrego Springs was not fun. I would go into town for a couple of hours each day but dealing with the traffic and crowds was not enjoyable. There were people from all over the world there to see the Superbloom!! Bad timing.

When we couldn't take the heat any longer I would crank up the generator and run the AC for a few hours.
I was OK with camping outside of town on the BLM except for dealing with the heat. I did enjoy my cool and quiet mornings and evenings. After 6 days, I was so happy to move north to a higher elevation out of the hot 90+degree weather.


I taped a sign on the door to remind me to look for snakes when I stepped out of the motorhome. I didn’t want any surprise encounters. One morning I went out to upright our chairs that had blown over in the wind and I jumped and squeeled when a horny toad ran out. (Photo from images because there would be no way I could have caught up with him.)




These graves were near where I was camped in the desert. When I showed it to Dick he said it was probably the last people (or pets) who died out here in the heat.


Since BOO and I are Dick’s “Support Team” we plan to meet up every now and then. On day Seven of his hike I picked him up in the morning where the trail meets Hwy 73 east of Anza. The first thing he said was “let’s go get breakfast”. I brought him clean clothes and something to wash up with so that I (and those around us) could enjoy breakfast. I’ve learned from past experience he can smell real bad after several days on the trail. 

Dick has been doing 25 mile days. That is his goal. This first 150+ miles includes a one mile off-trail hike into Warner Springs to get a hamburger, fries and shake and another couple of miles of backtracking to get water. He was told about the Community Center in Warner Springs right next to the trail that serves food to hikers but it wasn’t serving til April. The restaurant he hiked a mile to was at a fancy Golf Club with a sign that reads “HIKERS EAT OUTSIDE.”  (I love the sign in a restaurant window along the Appalacian Trail “SORRY WE’RE OPEN”).

He's had to deal with the 90+ degree days and sometimes moves like a slug. I moved like a slug just staying at the campground. I can’t imagine. When he came to water (he calls this a “hallelujah moment”) he would take off his hat and use it to scoop up water and poor it over his head. His MO is to leave at dark thirty and hike when it’s cooler. Problem is he has seen a total of 4 rattlers and actually one of them he stepped on. Luckily it just rattled and side-winded off into the bushes. He said, “Michael Jordan would be proud of me.”

He is thankful for the lightweight umbrella I found at a thrift store. He emailed me this picture from the trail with the words “YOUR IDIOT”. The photo was taken by HALF MILE who wrote the APP Dick has on his phone called HALF MILE. The APP tells you everything you'll run into every half mile along the trail.
HALF MILE
Dick’s trail name is DICKEBIRD. Several times he has met up with HARRISON and CRUISE CONTROL, two young guys training to hike the Continental Divide Trail, and doing the lightweight, zero comfort hike, carrying backpacks the size of a purse and only weighing about 7 or 8 lbs. They only carry snacks and hitch into towns for meals. Dick doesn’t like to road walk or hitch and plans to stick to the trail as much as he can - except when I pick him up.
He saw lots of hikers. Many of the younger ones hike with ipods in their ears. Hikers have scrawled BEER in the trail. He met a guy along the trail who wants to hike the whole trail but needs to lose a lot of weight and his workout is walking 6 miles a day. In the meantime, he’s a “trail angel” with a kiddy pool full of beer, pop and apples. 
Early yesterday I dropped him back at the trailhead to continue north. He’d been dreaming of SNOW all through the desert. He is heading for Fuller Ridge where he will find plenty of it. He took crampons on this part. He will begin with 30 climbing miles from 5,000 elevation to 10,500 to reach the peak. Apparently no connection because up until now he would text or call me a couple of times a day but I haven’t heard from him yet. We had our doubts on that, because of the area, so I’m not worried. We have an agreement to not worry if we don't hear from each other for a few days. We'll see if I can stick with that.

A few people have called me "THE GOOD WIFE" 
I had to take a crash course on a few things I've never done on this motorhome before - dumping and filling, leveling and backing into a space. I am in a beautiful Escapee RV Resort east of Temeculah where I can stay up to 28 days if needed, but I will have to move around a few times as spaces open up and do all the things Dick usually does. It's a great place. I talked to more people the first day I was here than I talked to the whole week at Borrego Springs. I haven't ejoyed the mud facials yet but the whirlpool is nice.



  
Extras for those that are interested:

  1. The Guthook App is highly recommended.
  2. At Mile 91 and Mile 101 he found pallets of gallons of water. The sign said use only in case of emergency but he felt it was an emergency at that point and took a gallon. 
  3. Dick tried recording a message to me (and BOO) at one point but I haven't figured out how to add it to the blog. If you are interested I can email it to you upon request. 

"A great thirst is a joy when quinched in time." - Edward Abbey

"(from majestic saguaros to innocent weeds) and even the land itself (from river-bottom quick sand to valley fever lurking in the dust) is at any moment ready to strike, sting, bite, scratch, poke, infect or crumble away beneath your feet without warning." - Edward Abbey



                   Eagle Rock - a beautiful formation he hiked by along the trail.



                  One of my favorite flowers of the Superbloom - the desert lily.

6 comments:

  1. Hi, Gaila! I love the commentary you are running - and hope that the weather cools for you both. You know how I love heat (NOT).
    The sign about snakes - those rascals will go under any cool place - like a camper, too. Do be careful!

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  2. Great recap. Can't wait for the next chapter!

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  3. Thanks for the update, Gaila. I'll e-mail you to ask for the recorded message from Dick.

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  4. Love reading this! Can't wait to see that red trail on the map get a little longer ;) It's crazy to think how far he has to go!

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  5. I'm with Jean (above) and love the commentary! You truly are a 'good wife' to manage things and be his 'lifeline' during this journey. So glad you found a more comfortable place to be with the SKP's too. I really like the town of Julian near there for comforting apple goods. Keep up the good work and know I'm rooting for both of you!

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  6. Hello lady! We so enjoyed catching up with what's happening with you two. We just took a walk down our road in OH and marveled at all the singing frogs. Spring is just arriving here so we get to experience it all again. :) We will write more via other modes of communication soon. We got both these blog links so it's working. Glad you are enjoying this new location much better. YAY!!! :)

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