Day 11: The Long Road Walk Begins

Memories from May 1

Where Ziggy and the Bear live.

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We set out late from Ziggy and the Bear’s. Eddie recognized a trio if hikers who had come in late last night and recruited them to join our little band to walk around the Fire Closure north of Ziggy and the Bear’s. I had passed the trio yesterday and spoken briefly when they later caught up as I was finishing a rest break. Sven (of France), Jan (of Germany), and Julie (of Canada) had come from San Jacinto the night before and done about 33 miles getting lost in the flats a few miles before Ziggy and the Bear’s and had gotten in at 9:30pm. Sven had a lot of blister care to do and they understandably weren’t the first up in the morning. At the last moment, we were joined by Kate (of Germany).

As we took a frontage road out of Whitewater, an older lady, apparently on her daily power walk joined us long enough to pass on some tips for healthy living (vegetarian), a good life (she works three jobs, generally with children), and some advice about the end times.

I’d been walking up front with Jan and Julie when we took our first break. No one had looked up directions more precise than following highway 10 to highway 62. I found a connecting road (Painted Hills Road) which took us through a windmill farm. At highway 62, we looked up frontage roads on our phones and found one (Worsley) which took us about 5 of the approximately 8 miles to Yucca Valley, the first town on our detour. After a discussion as whether it’s better to walk with or against traffic and whether we really wanted to cross the highway, we set off.

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We passed a crew apparently setting up to do some filming. They had water and snacks on the side if a fifth wheel and for a moment I thought that it was trail magic before remembering that we weren’t on the trail.

During a rest stop I gave away a liter or so of water. I need to start getting my food and water planning dialed in.

Where Worsley crossed North Indian Canyon Drive, we went back to Highway 62 for a miserable threeish mile road walk. We were generally able to stay outside the white line and rumble strip but sometimes had to walk outside the guard rail. It was good we’d chosen to walk against traffic (that way you get to see what makes you roadkill) since the other shoulder was practically nonexistent.

At the first gas station on the edge of town, I immediately walked to the outdoor ice box, removed the open padlock, grabbed a bag of ice, replaced the open lock and turned towards the door to pay for bag of wonderful relief. Almost before I could take a step, a woman was out of the mini-mart had a hand on my arm. I got a clear warning that I couldn’t take my dirty things into the store and then was asked what wanted with the bag if ice. I told her I wanted to pay for the bag if ice to which she responded by urgently calling for someone named Carl. I stood and waited while she called for Carl when suddenly she said that the ice was free and shooed me away. I withdrew to a grassy spot between the gas station and the parking lot next door. Eddie had been a short ways behind me and guessed that she thought I was stealing the ice. As they arrived, we mentioned for the others to join us and avoid the gas station. Instead, we went to the next gas station down the street and spent a great deal of money on chips and sports drinks.

For the night, we camped in an well vegetated field nearby. I almost sat on a cactus while pooping after dinner and got some prickly balls embedded in the soles if my cheap flip flops which I only use for camp. The spines only push through the sole all the way when pressure is applied, say by a footstep.

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