Sunday, May 20, 2012

20 May - Day 30 - Birthday yogi-ing, eclipse, & the End of a World

From near Little Jimmie Campground (Mile 384.5) to Sulphur Spring Camp (Mile 407.1)

Total Trail Miles: 22.6

Chris (Dionysus) here. Today we passed the 400-mile mark!

What a day of happy coincidence and trail magic! It was Charles's birthday and though we had a few plans of our own, the world presented us with lots of little parties and celebrations - including a beautiful solar eclipse.

The three of us together with Mark Trail started the day with a strenuous detour (part of it a road walk) in order to avoid disrupting the habitat of an endangered local frog. The long road walk roasted our feet. But we got to enjoy California's penchant for evocatively phrased road signs.

Since we were not driving cars, and weren't thinking in terms of cars, when we bumped into these signs, we paused blinking, trying to figure out what they were referring to. Dionysus checked the backs of the signs to see if they were perhaps Adopt-A-Road signs courtesy of the feuding local BDSM organizations.

Eventually we arrived at a big roadside campground among tall pines and cedars off the road. The place was FULL of weekend trailers, campervans, and motor homes. Kids everywhere. Some campfires. We found one open camping place: it was the perfect lunch spot, complete with a picnic table and a very cold snow melt creek to soak our feet in. Mark Trail hiked up to see if he could find or rendezvous with Moonwalker and Nancy (whom we call "NancyJanet").

We were just wrapping up our modest first lunch and getting ready to leave when a group of fellow thru hikers marched in (Hee-haw, Dave (Problem Bear) and Kent. They started yogiiing from the local weekend hikers who were packing up all around us and in no time had collected enough food and drink for a birthday feast. Problem Bear brought back the real bounty of 18 hot dogs, a few ears of sweet corn, AND half a liter of tequila (gods be praised). Soon HeeHaw and Desert Fox arrived. So we made a fire and cooked up the sausages & corn while we drank the remainder of the tequila (what a great little impromptu party).

Pan roasting the corn and heating the hot dogs over a Jeffrey pine-cone fire.

Seano, Pan, Problem Bear, HeeHaw, Desert Fox, Clark Kent, and Dionysus

THEN more trail magic at the same campsite. An Angel duo called Law and Order (they were both lawyers) drove up and offered us cold sodas, sandwiches and snacks. So we went for round three.

Finally after about three hours we got back on the trail. We wound around on the detour for quite a while checking constantly to see if the eclipse was starting (we were doing that funny pinhole camera trick with our fingers). At about six o'clock we found a nice cache full of water and fruit (grapes - OMG) and a picnic table. So we stopped for dinner and fruit and cracked open a happy bday beer I had been schlepping along. It was a Belgian trippel called "Fin du monde" - fitting in many ways but especially given the eclipse which was just starting.

Dionysus incarnate.
While we were sitting and enjoying another couple hikers - our buddies Justin & 3Bears we have been leapfrogging with - joined us for the festivities, as well as Mark Trail. We finished the beer and all mosied along toward a nearby campsite frequently stopping to admire the wan light from the eclipse (it was like on sunset after another).

Here's a photo where the reflection of the sun on the camera lens shows the crescent of the sun.

See the sickle sun reflected in the pine needles?

Seano, Dionysus, and Pan singing at the campfire. Photo by 3Bears.
We found a great campsite and built a second evening fire. We all sat down to campfire reverie, conversation, laughter and tequila.

What a good day. Happy 55th bday, Chuck (Pan)!

1 comment:

  1. Venus transits the sun today, starting at 3:00 today. It's overcast here, but you guys should get a good look at it. (It won't happen again in our lifetime.

    Keep trudging,