A thru-hike is like a big sandbox- there's a lot of room to play and everyone can make their own type of castle. Today's castle was pretty unique and unpredictable. What unfolded today could have only happened to the four of us while we were out here, and that's exactly why we are.
Waking up a little hungover from the zero day's festivities I went down to the pool to soak my feet and catch up with my little lady back in NYC. It was going to be an extra long hitch to the trailhead so there was no rush. We stopped at mcdonalds to pack out some big macs. I again got some flack for walking around town in my compression shorts by the locals. Just yesterday at the pool some kids were calling me speedo torpedo! Time to get some gym shorts.
After checking out we caught a ride on the CA regional bus line half way outta town. Getting dropped off in the middle of the desert we began a walking hitch. We had about twenty miles to go, so we began to hike. Taking a break to eat our burgers a lady named Jennifer stopped and we crammed in her Subaru to get a little farther up to the trailhead. She has been driving around, experiencing great locations like Montana, idaho and parts of california. Getting out to thetrail head there was some trail magic going on- soda, fruit and shade!
Getting to the hiking we quickly took a blue blaze down a beautiful road that shifted us to the west. The weather was perfect, the mountains were mystical and we snapped a ton of photos. Not realizing we were heading away from the direction we needed to be going we came to a road junction. A woman was stopped in her car, we went over to chat with her. Clearly distressed she told us how she just hit a flock of birds accidentally on the road. She asked us to investigate the dark objects strewned on the shoulder. The wind was moving quick and I could see movement by the tiny objects. My stomach dropped knowing I may have to put these poor creatures out of their misery. Luckily as we got closer they looked still and in complete peace. Unfortunately they looked like young birds of prey, but we picked them up and put them under some brush for coyotes to find. It was sad, but we were happy to help Mary out. She offered to give us a lift down the road to where we thought we needed to go.
Getting out, we felt strangely out of place. There were no hikers, and everything was closed. Realizing we must be a little off track we fired up the gps. We were 40' miles off! Looks like our scenic blue blaze got us pretty lost.
Knowing it was too late to continue on we got some Arizona ice teas and plopped down in front of a general store. Suddenly a lady named Lori and her friend Mary said hello to us and told us we could camp on their lawn! We happily went down to her home and were introduced to her husband and other family members. As we watched modern family Lori and Mary went and got us pizza! After eating we went out to the yard and decided we would cowboy camp on their trampoline! Right now there is a gnarley lightning storm off in the distance.
Surrounded by mountains, very far from the trail we are reminded that the adventure happens when unexpected events occur. Today was filled with that kind of adventure and good people. Those are the two main reasons we are out here. I hope we continue to experience life by the moment, because it's a lifestyle worth living.