04 May Day 37 – One Man Band
Flipped to Walker Pass and hiking south toward Hikertown. Hiked 23.9
PCT miles. At mile 517. 6.
One Man Band was walking north along the LA aqueduct with a guitar strapped to his pack when I stopped to chat with him. Everyone who thru-hikes carries a part of themselves with them. For One Man Band, it is the love of music and the way that music opens people up to self expression. One Man Band told me that he found PCT hikers particularly expressive. I’ve seen this myself with the art created at hiker hangouts like Casa de Luna and in a number of PCT 2018 signature banners. One Man Band also carries drumsticks, a small kettle drum (forgot to ask whether this doubles as a cooking pot), and a harmonica. At Hikertown he brought out his instruments and played the Hikertown piano as other hikers joined in with an improv session. Here is the Hikertown piano at the lounging area and kitchen.
I have completed 134.4 mile flip from Walker Pass SOBO to Hikertown. This completes the first section of my PCT hike from the Mexican Border at Campo to Walker Pass, placing me at mile 652.1. I will take a few weeks to return to Atlanta to see my wife, Sandra, for the birth of my first grandchild and my daughter, Maura’s college graduation.
I wasn’t cold sleeping in Tylerhorse Canyon. The tarp anchored by tent stakes held down by massive rocks stayed secure through winds that otherwise caused the tarp to violently flap so much that it would push against my body and whack me in the face. At times the wind would completely stop. The gibbous waning near full moon rose. Night clouds drifted, then rested, highlighted in backlight effect by the moon. The bitter cold wind in morning meant that the tarp, the only refuge from bitter wind would be last thing I packed.
As I pulled on the quick laces of my left boot, the already frayed string snapped. These Salomon X-Ultra boots use Salomon Quick laces so I knew no way to repair and replace.
I walked with a loose left boot. By the end of a 24 mile day a blister was springing up on the front pad my of my foot.
Here is the view looking back to cloud banks toward the mountains.
Here are more clouds.
Here is the Joshua tree that I took a longboard lunch break under.
Here are Hikertown tiny accommodations.
I pitched the tarp in the dark at Hikertown, right next to what turned out in the morning to be a pigpen.
Here is the pigpen.
Walking in dark along aqueduct levy, listening to Dark Side if the Moon.
While night hiking seeing what comes out of those 2 – 3 inch diameter holes. Catching a large mouse frozen in the headlamp.
Many NOBO’s were so intent on hiking that they didn’t think to ask me, a SOBO, about trail info and water availability. Some few don’t even respond to a greeting. I was likely the only SOBO most saw in more than a few days. This makes me appreciate the need not to miss similar opportunities myself.