Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Getting lost and then getting to Red's Meadow

We started at 4.30am today to get to Red's Meadow at a reasonable time and to make Basil feel better about us doing such low mileage the day before.

We hauled early on since the mosquitoes were not fun. Coming upon a very confusing signpost I waited for Amtrak, though Basil had pushed on. The sign said "Red's Meadow" which was where we were heading but it was the wrong route to Red's Meadow. I waited an hour for Amtrak in Mosquito hell. I left my pack at the intersection but it turns out that Amtrak walked past it thinking I was "digging a hole".

So, worried about Amtrak I ran back up the trail about a mile but couldn't find him. Eventually I saw his prints heading down and followed them. He'd gone the wrong way. At this point Basil had gone the right way. I followed Basil and left a note for Amtrak (hoping I had read his footprints right and he wasn't laying in a pool of blood somewhere). It transpired that Basil climbed a lot on the right route and then lost the path. As he got onto the wrong path he descended, eventually coming face to face with Amtrak coming the other way. Very confused they ended up taking the low route.

I on the other hand had lost an hour so I ran, along the PCT, to try and catch Basil. Oddly, nobody in front had seem him (he is easy to describe!).

I ended up doing about 22 miles on the day and Basil and Amtrak did nearer 30 miles. I chatted to a lot of folks along the way, and for about an hour to a great scottish bloke called Norrie who is a mental health nurse from Edinburgh and was especially proud of his wood stove (I must check those out - nice to not have to carry fuel. He told me to check out backpacklight.co.uk).

I finally made it to the Red's Meadow diner. I told the lady there that I was dying for a coke. 20 minutes later it arrived (I could have died). But a tuna melt and 4 more cokes later and I was alright. As I waddled to the shop a voice behind said, "sure looks like a through hiker" and I turned to see Lune and Swam who had decided to do this section in reverse and were heading south.

Basil eventually showed up and a lady I talked to pointed him to a note I left on a log. About an hour later I ran back to the Store to look for Amtrak and was relieved to see him looking well and he had even managed to get some food a couple of hours after the store was supposed to shut.

We eventually organized a lovely campsite with natural hot spring fed showers and excellent bear lockers and clean toilets. Our neighbour came out of their RV to give us a huge pile of muffins and half a melon. Sweet. We had quite a feast.

Turned out that Red's Meadow has cell phone service so I spoke to Sienna for the first time in weeks.


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