Day 34 (Tape)

Sunday, May 19th, I think. Was a pretty interesting day. Um. We woke up – it was windy all night long. And we woke up and it was still windy, but I think that was just due to where we were. On the ridge between the mountains and the desert. And ah, let’s see, we only had a little bit of water left and we both woke up pretty thirsty. And ah, so I had enough for a swallow of water and we had enough to do our breakfast later on. Well we were definitely working on the minimum. And, but we only anticipated 7 miles to McIvers Spring. Which was supposed to be our first halfway decent spring in 20 some odd miles. So we covered those, covered about 5 miles in the morning before before breakfast. And ah, hit McIvers Road. And then we stopped and had breakfast. Used up pretty much the last of our water. And headed down the road towards McIvers Spring. And ah we made down to the spring where there’s also a little cabin. And sure enough the spring looked ok, it looked clear. It didn’t look green and nasty or, it could have very well been full of cow pies but the water was kind of channeled into a PVC pipe. Was coming out clear, so we ah, full of anticipation got a pot of it and got out the old filter to see if it would sqeeze out any more water. And lo and behold the filter managed to, to spit out two more bottles. It was very very very hard to pump, but, but we got em out. And we were feeling happy with ourselves. I had noticed that the cabin – there was a car parked in front – and I had noticed ah just kind of glancing when I was getting some water that there were two assault rifles leaned up against – on the porch – leaned up against the cabin. And I was like, ummm, ah, ok. As long as they stay leaning on the porch that’s ok by me. And ah, we heard some clanking around inside the cabin, and once or twice a guy sticks his head out and looks at us or something. But ah, seems friendly enough. And then when we’re done pumping water the guy sticks his head out again and sez “You guys want some eggs?” And we look at im, and pretty much just reply “Food Good.” And go clambering towards him. And ah, they had some left over eggs they didn’t want and wondered if we wanted to eat em. We’re like of course, sure, we’ll get some free calories we don’t have to carry. And so we had – greedily we ate up the eggs. They offered us some white bread and american cheese slices and milk, and butter to go with it. And, just, kinda generally happy about this all-american meal we proceeded to butter up some white bread and smatter some eggs and a couple pieces of american cheese on it and wash it down with a big glass of whole milk. And ah (laugh), it was pretty… I don’t know, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it any other time, like Peter said. But ah, at the moment it was pretty good. Got a little extra filler to get us through till lunch. And ah, so that went pretty well – and they also had some drinking water with them so we got an extra drink besides just our two bottles we gotta take an extra drink and then fill up again. So all in all we were farin’ pretty well, and we took off back towards the trail with full bellies and full of water.

And ah, hiked for a while longer. Kind of slowly wound around a ridge and descended down to Walker Pass. And as we were walking I thought, this is the moment of truth here. The filter, our water filter was definitely not going to get us all the way to Kennedy Meadows 51 more miles away. And, we didn’t have any other means of purifying water because the stove was almost out of fuel as well. So ah, we had told the guy, ah that we met on the trail, who we didn’t even know his name, ah we had given him a little message and he said he would call Pete’s mom when he got out of the trail. So, ah we were thinking about that as we walked. And ah, the more I thought about it the more I felt sure that the guy would get out on Saturday and try to call Pete’s mom’s house, and she wouldn’t be home. And he would go ahead and call her work number and leave a message but she wouldn’t get it till Monday. I was just feeling certain that we were gonna have to hitchhike out to Ridgecrest to get our water filter. When we hit Walker Pass. And I was feeling this way as we walked up closer and closer to the campground. And there, sitting duck-taped to a tree was a full gallon of drinking water and a ziploc bag with our names written in big blue marker all over it. Sure enough, Pete’s mom had come through! And left us a water filter, and a guidebook for this section which we wouldn’t have had otherwise. And also some bonus Powerbars to help us scrape through. And ah, all in all it was generally – oh, I don’t know, I just felt ecstatic about the whole thing. I was yelling and screaming “Yeehaw!” Cause I had gotten so depressed about the prospect of hitchhiking into Ridgecrest and further delaying our trip. And we sat down right at that tree and had lunch, and enjoyed the fact that Pete’s mom is such a great woman. Had done this for us, and saved us all this time, and allowed us to – allowed our trip to continue on. And had a good lunch. And worked our way… ah we did kind of develop a lot of garbage from it, and we had some garbage already. So we were hoping to throw that away at the Walker Pass campground. And ah, also fill our last water bottle. We had only gotten three from the drinking water that she left us. And we went down to the campground. And starting to just kind of feel that after-lunch lazy feeling. And I wanted to stretch out. And we got to the campground and there was no trash service. So I ah, went up and asked a family that was sittin there – there was one family at the campground. A big old guy and his wife and five or six screaming playing kids. And ah, they’re from down south somewhere by their accents. And ah, we looked around for garbage can and couldn’t find one, so finally I just took all our garbage in hand and approached em and asked them if they would do us a big favor and pack our garbage our for us since we had to, we would have to carry it 50 more miles otherwise. And, it turns the, they’re happy to do that, and the guy was gettin ready to start a backpack trip to Kennedy Meadows. And ah, was proud of the kids in his brood, but needed a break from em and was gonna go backpacking and climb Mt. Whitney. Was gonna start in the morning. And had seen our names on his drive up he had gone through the Piute mountains and had seen our names Pete & Dylan on a trail register where we had left several little humorous messages in various trail registers along the way. And he was kind of impressed with the time that we were making, cause he had driven up from there. And ah, his name was Bob. And was just generally friendly and had his kids ah… later on after we had used the bathroom and parted ways he had, gave his kids a couple of pears to give us. And the kids gave ah Pete these pears while I was in the bathroom. And ah, I came out and Pete tossed me a pear, and the guy waved and smiled. And so I took a bite of it and it was just like, super hard, totally unsweet crunchy unripe pear. It was like three days to ripeness. And I knew right then I didn’t want to eat. My body just said, you don’t want to eat this. But I didn’t pay attention cause the guy was watching me and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for the gift, so I kept taking bites out of this pear as we walked over to set ourselves up by this picnic table and stretch out some. And I ended up eating maybe half of this thing before I finally just kind of scantily, or surreptitiously kind of threw it aside in the bushes. And let it be. And Pete ate all his. But ah, I stretched, and we had kind of a little after-lunch siesta. And headed ah, and headed back for the trail to do a nice 1200 foot climb into the real Sierras. The real mountains. Gettin up there.

And ah we kind of climbed up towards the road. And there was a couple of more notes there from Pete’s mom just making sure that we had gotten our package, and we kinda took those down on our, as we went along. And we cross the road and the trail just starts going straight up. And I’m huffing up this initial start of the climb, and my stomach just starts to up, go into upheaval. It was just growling and grumbling and gurgling and going nooooo, we don’t want to do this. And I was like oh, no, what is this? And finally the climb lets up a little bit and starts to contour. It’s still climbing, but not nearly so steep. And I loosen up the waist belt on my pack a little bit and that helps. But my stomach is still pissed off. And what’s worse I just put kind of a gross piece of candy in my mouth. That wasn’t helping at all. And I spit that out. And I was climbing the hill as best I could and my stomach was just grumbling and growling, trying to think what the hell was going on, that, why it would be doing. We got pretty far up, maybe 2/3 of the way up, when I told, oh man, I’ve just gotta stop. I feel terrible. My stomach’s just doing something wild. And then I remembered the pear. And I remembered that for some reason eating certain kinds of fruit like that before its ripe, like pears and nectarines, just gave my stomach the willies. And it just didn’t like it. And that’s what was going on. And I dug out the Pepto Bismol and took a couple of those. Went and had a bowel movement and just kind of sat and let that bloaty feeling pass. And reluctantly started up the hill again. And ah, slowly but sure that Pepto Bismol worked its magic and kinda relieved me. And the further I got up the better (end tape)

This is side2, still Sunday the 19th of May. Um, yeah the Pepto Bismol did the trick. And higher I got the better I felt. And ah, we cooly just started climbing into these beautiful mountains. And I was afraid the wind might be terrible again, but it wasn’t. There was, there’s wind up here but it’s just not bad like it was before in the desert. And ah, you can kind of hear it outside. Even as we, I speak here. And ah we just kept going into the mountains and we finally settled down at a campsite ah right on a saddle between two peaks. Morris Peak and Mt. Jenkins. And ah, we had already kind of skirted around Morris Peak and in the morning we’ll hit Mt. Jenkins. And the sun is still high in the sky, and we just about made 20 miles today still. Even with all our adventures. And ah, was generally another damn good day. And ah, hopin that if, just so long as everything’s going good for Camella too then there’s nothing I can complain about. There’s one thing, I almost halfway hoped that we would hitchhike into Ridgecrest so I could call and find out how Camella is doing. But I think its only gonna takes us until, we’re shootin for Tuesday night. That’s two more full days of hiking to get us to Kennedy Meadows. And ah, so if we do that I’ll find out soon enough anyway. But ah, here we are, we’re in the Sierras, in the high mountains at last. It feels good. And had good day and the sun is actually still shining right now. So we’ll have some, finally a little lag time to, to do this and that before we finally nod off to sleep. I’m gonna stretch out my toes and all that. So ah that’s, that’s the big, and ah, and this is me signin’ off.

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