Day 8 (Pete)

I drank two point five liters of water at Tule this morning. Try that sometime. We saw a big ‘ol rattlesnake stretched across the trail right after breakfast. It’s head was about an inch and a half across and it was six to seven feet long. Fortunately, it was early morning and snake was cold and lethargic.

At the end of a HOT HOT HOT day Dyl and I had to take a one mile detour along the Palms to Pines highway for water at a nearby restaurant. We were also greatly looking forward to whatever food we could eat. Eggs, ice cream, French fries, grilled cheese please. It was closed on Tuesdays. I guess its Tuesday today. Fortunately, there was a spigot on the outside of the building. It pointed up causing the water to spurt out like a geyser. We longingly peered through the windows at the cow print table cloths mustard and ketchup on every table. As we had justification of being a day short on our dinners for this section, we decided to hitch six miles and down a thousand feet to Anza and the small grocery there. A kind, yet silent, Indian man picked us up. His car stereo provided us with the first music we had heard in a week. One of those things you don’t realize how much you miss, or that you miss it at all, until it returns to you. It was hard to find things without meat in the store. We settled on tortillas, potato salad, provolone cheese, strawberries, and ice cream sandwiches. Anza is certainly not an epicenter of fashion. Regardless, we both felt a little uneasy as we are both very dirty, weathered, and obviously very hungry. No, it wasn’t all our imaginations. We did get looks. No extra food for the trail except some hard candy. I wanted to buy everything in sight. Dylan, however, is setting a frugal example and I am following his lead. I did buy a ten cent candy and eat it without telling him. Eventually, we gave up the prospect of getting a return ride. Scores of cars passed us by. Anxious to get back to the trail and our packs stashed in a bush, we glumly set out to add seven more miles to the twenty we’ve already trekked today. A bunch of young people with Arizona plates stopped and turned around. The guy in the back mooned us. They all hollered and sped off. A reverend picked us up and drove us half a mile to his road. It was getting dark just as we started up the thousand foot climb to the trail.

Saved. Jackie passed us, thought about walking up the hill, turned around, and came back for us. A nice girl. She must have great faith in human kind to pick up two grimy men by the side of the road at dusk. That was twenty minutes ago.

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