Day 12 (Tape)

Mornin! We’re heading through flatland desert once again, tromping towards the interstate. Ah, Walkin’ Jim caught up with us. There was a water fountain and a huge pipe where there used to be Snow Creek. We were ah, resting and getting our fill at the water fountain and Walkin Jim came up. We found out some more stuff about him. He’s ah, makes his living writing songs and poetry about the wilderness. And obviously walking in it. This is his first time on the PCT but he’s done a long backpack trip every year for 22 years now. And some of em include the Appalachian Trail, he’s done the Continental Divide, he’s done ah several coast-to-coast trips. And just ah, there’s a Pacific Northwest Trail that he’s done. A lot of different stuff like that. So we exchanged, gave him the address for the Institute of Sociometry, and we got his little flyer. I guess he’s doing a fundraiser with this walk. And ah, made a pretty good contact I think. So the day’s gone pretty good so far.

We’re walking through kind of the wind farm area of the San Gorgonio Pass here. And sprinkled thoughout the desert are these huge windmills, turnin away. And its pretty windy here. They’re all goin. It’s kind of peaceful to watch.

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Woooow. See if you can pick up some of this sound in the background.

(wind and maybe some water)

That was a very welcome sound to us. We’ve come maybe fourteen miles today. And ah, ah man, it’s all been across depressing ugly shit. We started off ah, finishing off our descent, the last two mile-long switchbacks. And came down to a little wash where ah there used to be two creeks and now there’s two pipes. And water founntain. We were thankful for the water fountain. We filled up there and drank a couple liters. And then we headed out across the windy desert. Uh, just kinda following posts. There’s no real trail. We followed posts all the way to Interstate 10 where we went underneath. And ah, it looked like had been a band of hobos or something, might have just evacuated suddenly and left a bunch of tin cans and clothes, and other detritus behind. And ah, from there we kind of hiked through some dead and dying neighborhoods. Moribund neighborhoods.

And ah, the day just started getting really fucking hot. We were sweating and ah… we went by the wind farm… and ah the wind farm, each of the windmills makes this little noise kind of like (whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine). And they all do it kind of at a different pitch. So it sound like the moans of the dead coming up from the ground (laughing). And ah, we got to hike in the company of that for a couple of hours. Meanwhile the terrain, which pretty much was just flat boring desert, sand, a piece of brush here and there, just started to turn evil. It ah, it slowly became darker and more sinister looking. And ah, as we climbed up we would go through these forests of burnt shrubs and as far as you could see in any direction were just these regularly spaced little charred branches sticking in buches out of the black ground. (cackle) The ground was a mix between kind of a dark red rust colored dirt and black sand. And ah,

Pete: It was in like 95 degree weather.

Yup. And we were hiking up and down hills and switchbacks and the whole good thing. So anyway, we’re finally here at the ragin Whitewater River. We ah, came off the trail about a quarter of a mile to find the shade of an actual real tree by the side of the river. Looked like the last one there was. And ah, the river is about bathwater temperature, so I think we’ll be doing some bathing here. And ah, just generally enjoying the safari until we have to get up and go again. But we’re not going to think about that right. And Pete just ate all the good stuff off the top of the extra bag of gorp, so I could have the sunflower seeds at the bottom.

Pete: There’s three bags here.

Oh okay.

Pete: So, you get one bag for tommorrow, for tommorrow and the next day. And we still have an extra one.

Nice. okay.

Pete: And so I get, we get two bags between us.

Okay. Sounds fair. (laugh) Well that’s it for now. We’ll check in again at bedtime.

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