Day 5 April 29
Barrel Spring to Trail Angel Mike’s
Up at 5 am, when did I become a morning person?
So here’s my secret: buy a 1/8 inch sleeping pad, you’ll want to wake up early because it’s terribly uncomfortable. See Carrot’s blog.
Crossing the meadow early morning improves my morale and I glide into Warner Springs before 8 am. A flock of hikers waits for the community center to open. Some of them look defeated. I feel bad, I have no issues thus far.
I eat breakfast and then I wait around for lunch. Hopscotch entertains us with his witty humor. A bad day time talk show hums in the background. Traveler picks at a guitar. Sideshow soaks his feet.
I linger for four hours. Then I inhale two mountain dews and move on.
A coyote or fox? Runs across the meadow, stopping occasionally to check me out.
Agua Caliente creek lures me in, desert creeks are few and far between. So I stop to soak my slightly swollen Achilles. A frog sits on a rock nearby. I watch creek critters and enjoy the solace.
Then I fucking mash the last miles to Mike Herraras to arrive before dark.
Tom, Kushy, and Crash sit around a fire. Tom greets me with a big bear hug. He is a trail angel in Kennedy Meadows. You can’t possibly meet someone nicer than Tom. He hands me a beer and I meet Kushy for the first time.
Kushy lives at Mike’s. He has hiked part of the trail, although he’ll tell you he has thru-hiked. He speaks with an air of PCT authority, like a salty vet. But he’s not. He’s a burnout and kind of a dick. “Have you actually hiked the whole trail?” I sense him trying to erode my elevated status.
Hopscotch, Big Sausage, and I sit around the fire and make each other laugh before heading to bed. Tonight I get a kushy porch swing bed. Nearby chimes tempt me into sleep as I a admire a mountain silhouette set below a sky choked by stars.