The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Day 12 - Mile 651 to Mile 651

Tuesday 12 June
Distance: about 300 yards to the Trail Magic tent and back

In keeping with the last couple of weeks, I woke up at 3am this morning. Then I remembered that we didn't have to go anywhere and I went back to sleep. When I woke at 7, I hadn't even heard Mick get dressed.

'Best sleep of the trip?' Mick asked. 'Best sleep ever!' I replied.

By quarter past seven we were over at the Trail Magic tent drinking tea (most tea bags have been thrown away; Gatorade has taken the place of tea on this trip), soon after which we were served a vegetable fritata for breakfast. To me, doughnuts aren't a breakfast item, but that didn't stop me from eating them this morning.

When Okiegirl said she'd take us to Onyx to pick up our parcel, I could have hugged her. She was going on to Lake Isabella, and given the choice between trying to hitch back from Onyx or taking a trip into town, it was a no-brainer to go along for the ride. It's not like we had anything else pressing to do today.

It's an eye-opener seeing what trouble and expense these trail angels go to. Just refilling the twenty or so gallon water bottles (from a 'buy your purified water refills here' machine in the supermarket at 39c per gallon) was quite a task, and that was with four of us working on it.

Twelve-inch Subway sandwiches all around had us salivating on the drive back to the campground (it's a 70-mile round trip they're doing each day to cater for the hikers), and as soon as all of the food, drinks, water and ice were unloaded, we tucked in. The day has involved much food and much pop (and clean pants and socks and a strip-wash in the 'restroom' at the supermarket - people have been commenting on how clean we look ever since!).

In hindsight, I'm glad we didn't get a hitch into town yesterday afternoon. We've had a far better time hanging around here, meeting lots of new people and just relaxing.

In fact, it's been so good that we've been sucked into the vortex and today has turned into a zero. Our plans to hike out tonight were scrapped as soon as we realised how hot the day was. Much better to do the eight-mile ascent, which starts from here, at 4am.

The only downside of the remaining at the campground is the toilet facilities. One long-drop toilet per gender and they're a bit ripe - and I'm not that good at holding my breath for that long!

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