Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Friday, April 29 Setting Out

Friday, April 29th, 2016

april-29-3SUMMARY:  It was a cloudy but warm morning at 6:30 am–we were walking to the Greyhound station with jets rumbling overhead, when for just a minute, a bit of rainbow appeared ahead of us–the Bible signal for “God keeps His promises.”  We cheered and hurried on.  The Greyhound ride to Lordsburg was like riding through the sea, where the “water” was sagebrush and the mountains were” islands.”  Now we’re at the EconoLodge, and we’ve already met 2 hikers who will be with us on the shuttle tomorrow!

DETAILS: Fixit’s watch alarm worked this morning, though it wasn’t really needed–we were already awake.  We stepped out into a cloudy but warm day at 6:30 am, and we were walking to the Greyhound station with jets rumbling overhead, when for just a minute, a bit of rainbow appeared ahead of us—the Bible signal for “God keeps His promises.” We cheered and hurried on.

At the Greyhound station, we discovered that 1) Greyhound considers our trek poles to be potential “dangerous weapons” and 2) We cannot bring our packs aboard–they have to go underneath with the other luggage.  We were not prepared for this!  But Fixit lived up to his name–he battled with my ancient, stiff trek poles till he got them apart and I could tuck them into my pack.  Then we had a very good breakfast at the “Cactus Café” in the Greyhound station, and were intrigued to watch some people paying for breakfast with bags full of nickels, dimes & pennies.

The Greyhound ride to Lordsburg was like riding through the sea, where the “water” was sagebrush and the mountains like islands.  There was a progressive change in the other plants as the miles rolled by–different kinds of cacti, even some wildflowers, and interesting grasses.  The mountains mostly look like they were originally lava pushing up through waterlaid sediment, and each mountain has clouds gathered over it, just like real islands in a real sea.

april-29-1  We arrived in Lordsburg in time for lunch at McDonald’s and walked to the Econo Lodge in windy and cool weather. We got some stuff to eat on the trail at the  at the gas station next door to the Lodge,  but at the same time we were mourning the fact that the Kranberry’s restaurant across the street was closed.  Kranberry’s has been feeding CDT hikers for a long time, but turns out they had a fire and will not reopen for some time.  Bummer.

Fixit spent quite some time this afternoon trying to figure out Guthook’s CDT app. He also put my trek poles back together—it was a wrestling match, but he did it! No device breakdown can stop Fixit. And we got to meet Masshole and Stummy, a young couple who will be on the shuttle to Crazy Cook tomorrow with us.  They are really excited about starting the CDT, and so are we!

At dinnertime, we wandered up and down Lordsburg looking for someplace to eat, but almost everything was closed and boarded up.  There was a place on the other side of the railroad tracks, but a freight train was sitting there blocking the way–it finally moved on and we scrambled across to the El Charro restaurant for a good meal.  Walking back to the EconoLodge, we could hear the sound of a youth baseball game.  If we weren’t having to start hiking tomorrow, I would have gone to watch.


Thursday, April 28 The Day is Here!

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

april-28-1SUMMARY:  The clocks all failed us this morning–Fixit’s watch alarm didn’t go off and the motel clock was wrong, but the end result was good–no L.A. freeway gridlock!

And it didn’t take long before we were into the deserts–all kinds of deserts–we crossed the PCT at San Gorgonio Pass, looking up at snow on Mt. San Jacinto.  We did make it on time to Phoenix, dropped off the rental car and did our first “hike”, complete with packs–30 minutes to a motel by the airport!

DETAILS: We made it all the way to Los Banos by 10:30pm on Wednesday night.  We had planned to get up at 4 am, but the clocks all failed us this morning—Fixit’s watch alarm didn’t go off and the motel clock was wrong, and we didn’t realize it till 5:30–yikes!  We rushed to get up, and stepped out into a very chilly, windy morning under pearly cloud skies. We  But the end result was good—no Los Angeles freeway gridlock!

As soon as it was light enough, I started sewing more padding onto Fixit’s pack shoulder straps.  We grabbed some breakfast at a gas station and kept going.  It was fun to pass by good ol’ PCT landmarks–Angeles Crest Highway, Big Bear, etc., and when we crossed the PCT at San Gorgonio Pass we were looking up at snow on Mt. San Jacinto and the Fuller Ridge!  Have fun, PCT hikers!

Then we were into the deserts–all kinds.  Sandy ones, rocky ones, with all kinds of different desert plants (the saguaro are amazing, and the broom was in bloom). We admired the very gnarly “horned” looking mountains that were sometimes in ridges and sometimes in rocky islands.  There were big puffy white ships of clouds sailing by with black shadows below.  Fixit commented that when he was in Alaska, the Eskimos would complain if they had to go someplace with a lot of trees.  “You can’t see the sky here,” they would say.  Well, the desert lands we saw today were definitely lands with SKY!

april-28-2 In Phoenix, we found our motel, left our packs in the room, and drove first to locate Greyhound, then to rental car return—long lines of cars. Walked back—15 minutes to Greyhound, where we discovered their schedule changed two months ago, so the time on our tickets was wrong. Good thing we stopped at the station! Our bus leaves an hour earlier than what the ticket says.

Another 15 minute walk, and we were back at the motel.  Planes were constantly taking off right overhead, and we could hear freight trains going by, which suited me fine–I love trains.  On the PCT, there were several places where the trail and trains crossed paths.  I hope the CDT will do the same!

But Fixit is tired from all that driving, and he wanted to hit the hay.  Usually I would help drive, but I was busy working on his pack for much of the day.  Tomorrow the adventure continues!