Day 32
Miles: 0
A zero day at hiker heaven

It’s morning and I feel terrible. Everything hurts. I act terrible too. I’m petulant and unhelpful as J tries to get us ready to go. Maybe more obstructionist than unhelpful… We bicker it out to the root cause, which turns out to be a brutal exhaustion that I just can’t shake. I’m really good at putting everything I have upfront, but maybe I should work on keeping a little back for later. (Nah.)

The other cause is that I’m upset with myself, and I’d really like to outsource it. I regret taking the hitch to the Acton KOA. I didn’t come into this hike with clear rules for myself, or even a guiding philosophy for my decision points. The purists have it easy, in a way – no flips, skips, or alternates. No decisions. Then there’s the walk-every-single-step crowd. They’ll take alternates or more convenient detours, but walk every step of the way. For me? I thought I had no clear philosophy, but it turns out that skipping sections doesn’t fit into it. There was trail to walk (and road detours to get to it) and I didn’t do it.

I’m whining about my disappointment with myself when J interjects: “you need to get over it! You didn’t do it! Move on!”
  “I can’t just move on. I screwed it all up! Now there’s an asterisk next to my mileage, 26 miles that should be there that aren’t.”
  “Well, it’s too late. Can’t really get back now. But now you know. Next time you’ll know!”

It’s his last statement that catches me. I didn’t know how upset I would be, but now I do. Next time, when an opportunity to skip comes up, I won’t take it. I have a friend who likes to say: when you know better, do better. Maybe I can let mistakes be a part of this journey too.

It doesn’t look like we’re getting out of here today. J will take care of the food resupply, and I’m going to go on the REI trip to pick up some gear. It’s about time I bought my own set of trekking poles, instead of just using one of J’s, and we have some odds and ends that we don’t need, exactly, but that might be nice.

The trail angel who is driving the fifteen seater van full of hikers has a megaphone and a predilection for jokes about nonconsensual anal sex (or bestiality, when we’re lucky). He misses the exit and we have to go back five miles. We’re in LA. This is the worst. The REI is full of kitsch and junk and overpriced car camping crap. I manage to find most of what I’m looking for, or at least at approximation.

While everyone else goes to Wal-Mart, I end up having a heart to heart in the In-N-Out with Bluesman and Dimples, about hiking and family and God and how difficult it can be to just be yourself. We’re all wearing In-N-Out hats. It saves some part of the day.

Back at hiker heaven, J and I get everything ready to go. New pack, new poles, new gear. There are going to be some adjustments tomorrow, but as long add I’m not so tired that’s fine. If I wasn’t so tired everything would be fine. Trail tomorrow.


Buncha tired hikers all in a row.


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