The Andersons(478.6)-Mile 500
Today’s Mileage: 21.4mi
By the time this comes out, it will be my dad’s birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPS!
The most difficult part of today was escaping the vortex of the Andersons. We slept in a bit and didn’t take the first shuttle back to the trail around 7:30am. We missed being ready by about 30min, but Blister (who is always ready 30min before us) took the early shuttle. Man was he lucky! That just left me and Top Shelf as the only only other hikers trying to leave. The other hikers and the Andersons were doing all in their power to suck us into another zero. It was sure to be an entertaining night tonight with the rest of the crew who were attempting the 24mi beer/hike challenge now at the house. Plus, they had hyped up that chocolate syrup wrestling was going to occur and even brought out videos to show everyone the oil wrestling from previous years. Some of the hikers were planning to get a ride 8mi up trail today and then slack pack (only carry a day pack) back to the Andersons so they could stay, but still get some miles done. Slack packing is common, but I won’t do it cause it feels like cheating, but to each their own. Then they said they needed a picture of the hikers who had yet to take their picture in front of the Casa de Luna banner that all the hikers sign. After much waiting, I got in with the five hikers who needed take the photo. Just as Joe took the picture, Terri mooned all of us! It turns out that they do it to everyone and they say they get some great reactions in the photos. Now we know where the name, Casa de Luna comes from.
I got too antsy and decided to just leave and get a two mile hitch to the trail. It wasn’t difficult and I started hiking at 10am. Over two hours after the first shuttle we had missed. Within an hour, Top Shelf caught up with me saying he too got antsy chose to hitch soon after I left. We are 40mi from Hikertown. Another hostel type of place homers stay at. So we didn’t have to do many miles to get there tomorrow. As we hiked, we came to the red carpet cache…and had lunch on the red carpets that were there. Great!
While we were there, the group of slack packers walked up. As you can see, they were dressed very entertainingly since they were only doing 8 miles. Here is Drop Dead, Annie(now Mili Vanili), Tumbleweed, and Kylie(now Jimbrick).
You can see that Jimbrick is dressed in her hiking clothes. That is because she decided to get back on the trail and they tricked her and took her with the slack packers and wouldn’t give her her backpack. That’s how persuasive the vortex is!
After hiking a couple more hours, we saw what looked like a lot of smoke about 10mi ahead of us. We thought it was a fire and we didn’t know if we should continue hiking toward it. It was getting pretty big and we thought we smelled smoke, but we weren’t sure if we were just smelling our own permanent stench that we now have imbedded in our clothes. We called Rockin’ who lives nearby and the local fire dept. No one knew anything and soon we saw a fire helicopter fly right over us towed the smoke. The people we talked to said they’d keep us posted, so we hiked on. Toward the end of the day, we did find out that there was a fire, but that it was already 40% contained and apparently not near us. We could smell it a bit from time to time, but we should be fine.
We decided to hike to mile 500 and camp there and it was perfect with a great view overlooking the San Andreas Rift and the Mojave Desert where we are headed.
Along the way today, we passed all the hikers on the morning shuttle except Blister who is a few miles up and we will catch up with tomorrow at Hikertown. Many of the hikers we are seeing now are people who started a week or more before kickoff and we are catching up to them. They were also people we were with at the Saufleys and the Andersons. We saw Special Delivery(who camped next to me at kick off), Mark and Holly, and Wandering Dot(who also knows Rockin’ and will probably also be there when I stay at Rockin’s house in a few days when we get to Tehachapi.
Tomorrow, we have 18mi to Hikertown and the beginning of the Mojave. A cold front has come in tonight and we are going to be quite fortunate to NOT experience anything like the real Mojave heat. I’ll probably even need my jacket tomorrow!