Walker pass – bird spring pass
21.1 miles. 3333ft up. 3241ft down.
I was up far too late battling with the terrible internet connection, trying to look up the cost of new shoes, getting sucked into Instagram, and chatting to friends. It was midnight by the time I finally went to sleep. Ok I thought, as my alarm is set for 8 and we have a ride at 9.
But of course I was wide awake at 6am. Town is such a screw up.
I packed up my stuff, drank a litre, maybe a bit more of chocolate milk, applied some suncream to my face for the first time since Washington. I was quite shocked when I looked in the mirror yesterday, but I feel it’s a little bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
I knocked on Decafs door. He did not look good. He had been up all night so he decided to stay in Isabella today and hopefully he can call the hospital to get his test results on Monday. (He called yesterday but was told there was no one in the lab, surely someone just has to read them off a computer?!).
Richard came to pick us up. He is a lesser known trail angel who lives only 3 miles from Walker Pass. We could have tried to hitch but this was easier! 9am was a bit later than we would have liked but that’s the way it goes. It’s about 30 miles from Lake Isabella back to Walker Pass and I didn’t feel good in the car. We were going quite fast and the road was windy so I stared out the window trying to take my mind somewhere else for most of the way.
Richard was a lovely guy and he gave us a big hug (one of those man ones with pats on the back) to send us on our way. We hit the trail at about 9:45. It was a little bit rainy but it wasn’t cold, it was a bit muggy. We agreed to make it to Bird Spring Pass today which is 21 miles away, there is a water cache being maintained there which is the only water source in the next 42 miles. With the late start we might be walking into the dark but so be it.
The day started with a climb of around 2000ft but it was much more gentle than what we have been doing. The sun was tucked away behind the clouds so it wasn’t too hot, it drizzled lightly on and off, not enough to put waterproofs on. The floaty eyeball bugs were out in force so the head net went on. I pushed on ahead and soon made it to the top where the trail gently rolled for a few miles. The trail joins a dirt road for 2.5 miles, I heard the sound of engines and moved off the road, a load of people on dirt bikes came down the road and they were all very respectful and acknowledged me as they passed, luckily they are really noisy so I could hear them coming with plenty of warning. A few more passed and then I was on my own again.
It was easy walking but I was moving slowly, the soles of my feet hurt and my legs felt as though I had growing pains in them. I felt a bit odd in the stomach too. Eventually all those feelings gradually disappeared throughout the day, I got worried for a while that I was going to be sick but nothing came of it. It continued to drizzle on and off, you could see the rain coming down from the clouds but it looked like it wasn’t reaching the ground, evaporating in mid air.
The trail looked much the same for most of the day, and at points I felt like I was going round in circles, seeing the same views every time I turned a corner. Other than to wee an excessive amount of times I didn’t stop today. I wanted to get there before dark so I just plodded on.
If you are still ‘friends’ with your ex on Facebook it can be a worry that you will see a picture of them at some point with someone else. Well that happened, and I didn’t feel love, I didn’t feel hate, I didn’t feel upset or hurt. I just felt…nothing. Nothing at all. It didn’t affect me in any way. No emotions. Apart from one maybe…relief. Relief that isn’t me.
The sadness inside me has gone. I haven’t cried for ages. I feel finally like myself again. Like that piece of me that he had taken, I never got it back but I’ve rebuilt it. I’ve done that on my own and I’ve made myself stronger. I feel free and alive and whole. Finally I feel whole.
The clouds continue to gather and now any patches of blue sky there were this morning have been covered by grey. I put my waterproof jacket on to protect myself from the drizzle. It’s actually the perfect hiking temperature, and with the lack of water I’m pleased it’s not super hot. After another small climb it’s all downhill to camp and I get a bit of a jog on, descending through the Joshua trees.
I reach the cache at 6pm. I still have loads of water, I have only drunk about half a litre despite pissing for England all day. I will use what I have and pick some up from the cache in the morning. It’s dark just after 6:30 nowadays so I look for somewhere sheltered to pitch my tent. The wind seems to be picking up. The sun is setting and it fills the sky with red. I eat my dinner of ramen and tuna (eaten separately, hot tuna is gross) and I wonder if Catwater will make it.
I eat my chips ahoy cookies and listen to the wind and the rain on my tent.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.