Day 65 - Change of Plans - June 9

The Kern River from the bus
We woke up very early so I could drop Ian at the airport. I went back to bed, but I couldn't sleep long because I had to return the car and catch the bus back to Lake Isabella. I returned the car just before the office opened, and I was glad not to be forced to interact with people with tears in my eyes. I walked the wrong way to the bus at first, turned around and hurried to make sure I caught it. The bus was a little late anyway. I waited sitting on the sidewalk and wolfing down some random food for breakfast. There was a young blonde woman and her daughter there. I talked to her on the bus ride, she recently got divorced and she's going home to her parents in Ridgecrest. She's been riding buses all the way from Texas, each time telling her little daughter, just one more bus. The bus driver is very fast on the curvy mountain roads, but an ambulance comes up behind him. He's keeping pace with the ambulance, actually I think the ambulance is slowing him down. The ambulance stops at a wreck and so do we. A lady had rolled her truck and almost ended up falling off the river embankment. She was still in the truck, talking to a cop. Lucky for her, a few feet further and she might have been in the water with her truck.

When I get to town, I took my extra tape I had bought and left it at the post office, then went to the Subway to sit down and have some juice. I have so much food right now that I don't want to buy any, plus I've had a lot of town food lately. Finger Guns and Kathrin are in the Subway! I haven't seen them in so long, they were actually the first two people I met on the trail. I talked to them for a while, then James shows up. I hear from one of them that the snow course I had signed up for was cancelled. Damn. I'm sitting there trying to think about what I should do, and my first thought is that I should hike to Lone Pine and then skip ahead. I've heard about how crazy the High Sierras are right now, with all the snow and the snowmelt swollen rivers and creeks. Just then, Mouse texts me that he has bought a ticket to LAX for tomorrow to join me hiking. He found a deal. I texted him about the snow course and that I was going to skip ahead, but I don't know to where.

He calls me and convinces me to go ahead and rent a car now, pick him up, and we'll go on a road trip to wherever I want to skip. I'd love to hike with him again so I agree. Finger Guns and Kathrin decide to join me, so now we're splitting a car four ways! We decide to skip to Lake Tahoe, because it's fairly easy to get on the trail from there and they have a car rental place to return the car. We'll have to take the bus to Bakersfield again to rent the car. We buy a six pack of hard cider to split because Finger Guns loves cider. I like it, too, but Kathrin doesn't drink. I know, a German that doesn't drink?

The Happy Haven RV Park is nice, the owners let you set up your tent on the grass for $5, they have Wifi, showers and laundry. Unfortunately, the electricity was out, so none of that worked. The owner was livid. I wouldn't want to be the guy on the other end of that phone call. Giggles, Caddyshack, Hell Bender and Ropeburn were all there hanging out. They were getting on the trail tomorrow. A young girl was there, saying she was going to hike the PCT next year and that she had a new tent. She begged for a Coke from Finger Guns. He gave her one from his eight pack, but drew the line at two. I get the feeling she was used to getting what she wants and she left us alone after that. I found out that Giggles had made her a gift of her old tent. Giggles asked me to sign her new tent and I got her number. She was pretty high and it took a minute for her to remember. I set up my tent towards the end of the line of tents in the grass and went to sleep early.

Happy Haven RV Park


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