Day 61 - Running Around - June 5

I got up in the middle of the night to relieve myself and was struck by all the stars. The Milky Way was splashed brightly across the sky, so I got out my camera and took a few shots.

The Milky Way
Inside the cabin
In the morning, Ian woke before me, and he got most of his stuff ready while I slowly got ready. He had time to talk to Chief Tendertoes and Lobster. Hammock guy was smoking weed to prepare for hiking.

All of them passed us during the walk, motivated by the proximity of town no doubt. The trail turns a face of the mountain and gets really dry. We skipped the Walker Pass Campground, where there was beer, trail magic and a note for me, but we didn't know that until later. Brain Turtle later sent it to me. Rambles had left me a note, and his phone number!

We reached the highway at Walker Pass after being teased by the sight of it parallel to the trail for a quarter of a mile. Lobster and another hiker were there trying to hitch a ride unsuccessfully for the last thirty minutes. It took another thirty to get a car to pull over. They only had room for two, so we let them have it. In another ten minutes, two cars pulled over, way before us. Well, often ride offers pull over far from you, so I went over there with my pack and a smile. It was an older gentleman, he said he didn't have any room for us, he had just stopped to stretch his legs since he's 93. My son might have room he said. He talked to the younger guy in the second car and he agreed to give us a ride to Lake Isabella. Unfortunately I forgot his name, it might have been Dave. It's a long drive down to Lake Isabella, so we talked to him quite a bit. His family had been vacationing near here for years. His dad stopped to check the South Fork of the Kern River to see how high it is for fly-fishing. He dropped us at the grocery store. We decided to eat pizza at the Pizza Factory before shopping.

While we were there, we looked at the ratings for the motel nearby. It had terrible reviews, so bad that we didn't want to stay there, even though it was only place within walking distance. We decided to rent a car from here and start our road trip, maybe stay at a better hotel tonight. The walk to the car rental place was about 1/2 mile, and we walked by many closed businesses. Lake Isabella is hurting from the drought the last few years. No one wants to go to a lake that is mostly dried up.

Ian road walks in Lake Isabella
A window of a closed business.
The car rental place was also closed when we got there. It was a mechanic and they no longer rent cars. Plan C, then. We'll just take a bus to Bakersfield and rent a car there. The bus was a mile walk away, so we got a few things at the grocery store and then walked over to wait. The bus stop was right at the senior center, and the ladies there were nice enough to let Ian charge his devices while we waited. I also picked up my resupply package at the post office. While I was there, I ran into Giggles! I hadn't seen her in so long. She said she was staying at the RV Park, with Caddyshack and Hell Bender. They were planning on getting on the trail on Friday. She had been laid up with shin splints for a little while.

The bus ride was down a windy mountain road wedged between a cliff and the Kern River. The river was flowing furiously. It was a lovely sight to see, but I couldn't help but think about all those streams in the Sierra flowing strong. In Bakersfield, it was a short walk to Enterprise, where we got our car. Then we found a cheap motel, some Thai food and crashed for the night.

Bus ride to Bakersfield!


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