Bluejay hadn't yet hiked the desert section, and I had. Knowing that Walker Pass was a more accessible starting or ending trailhead than Kennedy Meadows, I offered a suggestion to her a few days ago.
If she continued walking from Kennedy Meadows, I said, I would wait for her in Ridgecrest. I could then pick her up when she reached Walker Pass. That section was doable in two days, which meant I'd only need to spend an extra day in Ridgecrest.
This way, when Bluejay returned later to hike the desert, she would have an easier time getting back on the trail.
|Date||Wednesday, September 25, 2019|
|Weather||Partly cloudy, high temperature near 90|
Bluejay liked this idea, so she arranged with Yogi for a ride back to the trail. They left at 6:30 this morning.
In the meantime, Yayy contacted a trail angel for a ride to Ridgecrest. Amy picked up Yayy, Jaws, Pathfinder, and me at 7:30.
Our first stop was a restaurant for breakfast. Then Pathfinder left to rent a car for his drive home in Oregon.
We were unable to check into our motel rooms until 2 p.m., so Yayy, Jaws, and I filled our time first doing laundry. Then we walked to the post office and a grocery store.
When we learned our rooms didn't have WiFi, I decided to pay for just one night. I figured I could find another motel with working WiFi tomorrow.
It felt a little odd to be in Ridgecrest again. This was the third time I had been there on my hike. The first time was when the Woohoo Crew arrived at Walker Pass on Day 51. We returned again on Day 54 after reaching Kennedy Meadows.
I mentioned this in a message to the Woohoo Crew, and Falls made me laugh with his reply.
"Have you gotten an apartment yet?" he asked.
At least the restaurant we went to for dinner was different than my previous visits to this town. Jaws, Yay, and I went to Ephen Tacos, which was only a couple of blocks from our motel.
The tacos were Ephen good.
After meeting Jaws and Yayy for breakfast the next morning, they left to return to the trail. Although they weren't planning to hike the whole trail this year, they still wanted to complete as much as possible.
It was fun getting to know them, and I was sorry to see them leave. Now I had some time to kill until I needed to pick up Bluejay at Walker Pass.
|Date||Thursday, September 26, 2019|
|Weather||Mostly clear, high temperature near 90|
I attempted to make resupply plans for the next part of my hike, but it was cumbersome without WiFi.
During that time, I received a text message from Bluejay. She said she hiked 26 miles yesterday. This was good news because it meant she could finish late this afternoon. I planned to meet her at Walker Pass at 5 p.m.
I checked out of my room at 10 a.m. and walked to another motel to check in. This one was $5 cheaper and had WiFi. With better internet, I was able to plan the resupply stops in Northern California.
The rental car was ready at 3 p.m. I then filled it with gas and drove to Walker Pass. I arrived a little early, and Bluejay arrived shortly after 5 p.m., as planned.
After she got cleaned up, we went to the same Mexican restaurant I went to with the Woohoo Crew the last time I was in Ridgecrest. This town wasn't big, so there weren't many restaurant options that weren't franchise chains.
|Date||Friday, September 27, 2019|
|Weather||Clearing skies, with temperatures ranging from low 60s to mid 70s|
Our drive to Medford was an all-day trip. We ended up extending that with stops at two REI stores in Sacramento.
The second one was necessary because the first one didn't have shoes in my size. As I had done before entering the Sierra, I decided to start with new shoes instead of having difficulty replacing them in the middle of the section.
I was also able to buy a sleeping pad to replace my leaky one.
We finally arrived in Medford around 11 p.m. It was a tiring trip but not the kind of tired that comes from hiking. That will happen again tomorrow when we return to the trail.
Twenty-six miles of Oregon remain to be finished. Then we'll be back in California one more time, the last time.
I've come a long way with you
A long, long way with you
Most of our dreams come true
I don't think they're supposed to do
A jammed up highway no time to lose, an endless red light
In the houses of night where the bulldogs purr and the alley cats bite
In the danger zone running with your own, you said to me, my friend
It's good to be back again and again and again and again
From "Again And Again" by Robert Hunter and Jimmy Herring (Phil Lesh & Friends)
Like there ain't never ever gonna be no end