Monday, May 3, 2010

Lots and Lots and Lots of Thru-Hikers

April 27: I hadn't seen Abigail or Big Bertha for the last couple of days. I popped Abigail and plastered it with moleskin, and tried to pop Big Bertha, failed miserably, and plastered it with moleskin as well. That moleskin is sticky stuff, though, and when I apply it, I tend to leave it in place until it mostly falls off on its own. So I haven't looked at the blisters again... until now.

Abigail was quite plump and ready for another popping. Big Bertha looked largely much the same as I left it. I took lots of pictures of the process this time, and Abigail took a little work, but I finally got it popped. Lots of liquid exploding out of that one. Big Bertha I still can't seem to pop. It's in there pretty deep, and I'm surprised I haven't actually drawn any blood yet. I didn't think it was possible to poke that far into the skin with a safety pin and not get some sort of fluid to come out. It didn't really hurt much, however, and finally decided to leave it. It didn't appear to be getting any worse.

Also, I added the 'glovelet' to my hiking gear. One of my hands was getting sunburned, despite repeated applications of sunscreen, and I didn't much like it. While holding a trekking pole in my hand, I imagined how nice it would be if there was just a piece of fabric that could be draped over the back of my hand, held in place with a loop for the thumb and little finger.

Amanda bought a pair of cheap gloves and started carving out my vision of it with scissors. It worked out pretty well, too. After trying it out all day, there were only two changes I really wanted. The first was a loose strap to fit around my wrist. The fabric kept flapping around more than it really should if I wanted to keep the back of my hand out of the sunlight. The other was to use a very light fabric that breathes. The gloves Amanda carved up weren't especially thick, but they weren't very thin either. I just needed them to provide shade--not to keep my hand warm. Amanda says she'll try to work something out when she gets home. In the meantime, I'll keep using these makeshift versions. After I finish my hike, I'll sell the idea to outfitters everywhere for millions! MUHAHaHahahaha!!!! Or maybe not.... For now, I'm calling them glovelets, but I might change the name if I think of something better.

Then Amanda drove me back to Cibbets Flat Campground to continue my hike. I didn't even take two steps before a previous thru-hiker who was camped there came up to me to apologize for the 'scene' the night before. Naturally, I had no idea what he was talking about--I didn't camp there last night--and he said there was a pretty bad fight, but didn't seem inclined to get into details. Alrighty, then.

I waved goodbye to Amanda and started up the road to the trail, almost immediately catching up to Cheeks and Mojave. Cheeks was just about to go for a pee when I wandered up to them, however, so I kept moving. Not long after that, I crossed paths with Upchuck and Mad Hatter. Mad Hatter wore a crazy Mad Hatter hat with reflective mylar taped on top to keep cool, and hailed from England. That was the first hiker I met not from the United States. Mad Hatter seemed to have trouble remembering the name Tortuga and kept calling me Green Enchilada, which I thought pretty funny. Though when it does say it to get my attention, I don't realize that he's talking to me at first and end up ignoring him. I'm not used to responding when someone shouts out for a Green Enchilada. Mad Hatter had to fly through Bangkok to get to the kickoff because of all that volcanic ash that caused airports in Europe to close down.

Upchuck explained that his trailname was given to him by the folks who shared his campsite at the Kickoff after waking everyone up at 4:00 in the morning after partying a little too hard. (Or maybe partying "just right," depending on one's point of view.)

They started listening to music on their iPods, though, so chatter came to a stop, and I started pulling ahead, catching up to more hikers. Just Josh, who didn't have an official trail name, but was considering "Fucking Retard," but had reservations about the name. He wore a bright visor with a rainbow across it and a bright orange shirt, though, and Upchuck started referring to him as Rainbow Bright, which seemed perfectly suited to him. I hope that name sticks. =) He also had the heaviest pack I'd seen on the trail so far. It was HUGE! He didn't know how much it weighed when I asked, but said it must be under 50 pounds because he wasn't charged extra for it during his trip down to the kick off.

I also met Borders, and Brittney. Three other hikers are trying to stick the name "Spears" on her, but she doesn't like that connotation. I find it rather amusing, however, and am hoping it sticks. The other three guys said that they were telling the nickname wide and far in the hopes it would stick. Those three guys... their names were Lo and.... I forget the other two. My head was about to explode with names. They were everywhere!

Then I found another Englishman, Fozzy (or is it Fozzie? I didn't ask how he spelled it), whose name I only remember because I wrote it down when he gave me the location of his blog. He had his own problems making it to the kickoff due to volcanic ash which included trains, buses, and planes in I don't know how many countries. He was hiking with another hiker--Gabe, I think it was was? So many hikers, so many names.....

I'm not even sure I remember all of the people I actually met. I may have overlooked some of them in this account. They're everywhere!

The end of my day's hike consisted of a search for the Meet me on the PCT letterbox, my first letterbox find of the PCT. Near the end of the hike, pine trees started becoming more prevalent--a wonderful change from the chaparral I'd been hiking through so far. Even a couple of small pockets of snow were still left from the big storm that hit just before our arrival, so I took pictures of that.

Amanda was already waiting for me at Mount Laguna when I arrived, and whisked me away to Julian, a tourist trap of a town famous for apple pie. It's actually a trail town and we saw numerous hikers roaming around, but it's about a dozen miles from the trail so I had no intention of stopping during my hike. A drive-by visit in a rental car sounded like a good gig, however. We stopped for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and ordered the obligatory pie at the Julian Cafe and Bakery. I had them top my apple pie with ice cream and whipped cream, a towering pile of sin I gobbled down in no time flat.

6 comments:

Fluffy Cow said...

Julian?? Mom's?? You're gonna go get my box in Escondido, right?

Great pics of weeping lesions.

Okie Dog said...

Ewwww!! What a turn off, to see first thing someone's foot with ooze oozing out, yuck. You're such a kid, Ryan. ha ha. Boys dig that stuff, not so much the gals. Glad to see you're boyish nature still shining through, however. Hope it is still shining by the end of the hike.
Great pics, btw. Keep 'em coming.
OD

funhog said...

"Glovelets" are very popular with fly fishermen. They are known as sun gloves...

Anonymous said...

Love Julian's apple pie! Grumpy Grinch has its Grumpy Grandeur series of boxes nearby.

Anonymous said...

Did you order a green enchilada at the mexican restaurant? That wouldda been ironic...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Cool glovelets. Necessity is the mother of invention....

Sounds like those three guys should be named Sweet and Lo and Behold...

Hike On!
~Twinville Trekkers