Day 30 (Pete)

After Dylan briefly fell asleep on the sidewalk in front of the closed supermarket, we settled down in a large blowing trash scrub bush wasteland between the grocery and a dead airplane holding facility. Trains passed throughout the night making every sort of racket. I dreamed of train hopping and concluded, on waking, that it would be a much stranger way to travel that walking. We went to “The Pancake House” for breakfast. The locals yammered and our drab, smileless waitress served up some marginal food. Using our mysterious ways of crossing the closed sign barrier, we got our package from the P.O. prior to opening time.

The comment back in Agua Dulche about over reaction to lack of food may have been premature. At that point we were only half way through the pendulum swing toward gluttony. We concluded that we not only needed a majority of the staples of the four day feast but that we needed enough to last seven days. We each needed our own jar of peanut butter, cream cheese tub, bagel bag, cheese brick, cookie bag, cracker box, candy snack, raisin bread loaf and a king sized candy bar for every day all in addition to our pack food. I spent forty dollars, Dylan spent thirty. lo and behold our packs were unbelievably heavy. So heavy that I almost couldn’t lift mine up to put it on my back. It became apparent that we were going to pay dearly for our indulgence and that there was a lesson to be learned. This aint no party boys, this here is a hike.

Robby didn’t even bother to read the fancy sign I had made us on the back of a pizza box. He shook our hands, both, when we got in the car and immediately asked us if we had any dope. No. he told us he was a parolee and that he would go to jail if we got pulled over and one of us had dope. So, if we did, hide it good. If we would have had dope Robby would have undoubtedly let us get him high out of his mind.

The packs truly were way too heavy. Right off we faced a 2000 foot climb up about twenty switch-backs. The going was slow and painful. We made up sing songs about how stupid we were and how heavy our packs were. I ventured a guess that we would be O.K. as soon as we went long enough to forget that they weren’t always this heavy. The desert terrain gave way to cool mountain sides of pinion pine. It looked like our first true rain might be blowing up the valley from the west. Generally, things began to look better. Though it was still early, approaching thunder cracks provided a justifiable reason to stop and set up camp early. I napped in blue land, set up to ward approaching storms. Dylan began to cook our dinner which was, needless to say, a complete experience.

There was a truly depressing moment in the store for me today. I endlessly went from isle to isle looking for Swiss miss cocoa mix as I was yet unsatisfied with the glut of food in my cart. The store, the town, the civilization just kind of came down on me. I thought, “This is what life will be like when we are done.” A horrible picture yet, in hindsight, inaccurate. It’s true certain elements of urbanity are a drag. Perhaps this is why we have books, bicycles, musical instruments, typewriters, cats and ect. to help us while away the years inside the walls. This brings me to Uncle Dewey’s travel quote of the day, “The city has a face, the country a soul.” -Jacques de Lacrettelle. Mojave’s face has some acne scars. It is not uncharismatic; but, would only pull it extra work as a purse snatcher in a two bit commercial. These new mountains, like those before, has a rich, full, and powerful soul. We are able to feed off the energy; so, the higher we get, the better we feel.

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