May 26: I got up early , excited to hike today. Because today I was headed into town. My friend, Adam, had take a road trip from Washington to LA and was originally going to drive out to meet me at the trail for food and fun and friendship. But several days before, I received a text from him about a change in plans: he had an extra ticket to see U2 in LA! I was headed off trail to LA to hang with Adam, Bono, and the rest of the boys.
The hike into Walker Pass was nicer than yesterday. More trees. Less dust. Still no water. But less mileage to cover before the next source.
At one point, I saw a snake crossing the trail, so I slowed down to let it pass. As I got closer, I noticed the rattle on its tail- a baby rattlesnake! Careful around these guys/ they tend to be skittish, which could be dangerous. As I passed, I found out that he was indeed, skittish, as he cooled up and rattled like the dickens. But he seemed way more interested I getting away from me than anything else!
When I arrived inWalker Pass Campground, I was met with what j had been hoping for all yesterday: trail magic! A local guy dropped off water, snacks,!fruit, hand sanitizer. He arrived back an hour or two later to refill the water and give people a ride into town- Lake Isabella. I gladly accepted that ride.
Lake Isabella: from here, I would get a bus to Bakersfield, and from Bakersfield, get a bus to LA. Lake Isabella: sounds beautiful, doesn't it? I couldn't wait to see the lovely town of Lake Isabella. I forgot one portent thing: the drought. Lake Isabella, the lake, is dried up. Very sad, actually. Lake Isabella, the town, even sadder. It is essentially Mojave, without the wind turbines. It was a very uncomfortable 3 hour wait for the bus.
My view waiting for the bus.
The bus ride was pretty non eventful. Efficient, fast, direct. I have no complaints about the bus ride. Bakersfield, on the other hand.....
I could not get out of Bakersfield. Apparently, every single bus and train from Bakersfield to LA for the next, oh, 127 hours was completely booked. Or so I surmised from the ticketing agents' unclear explanations. I could be wrong. They may have just decided that they didn't want to sell tickets that day, extend to holiday weekend or something. It was all very confusing. All I knew is that I was stuck in a town that was essentially a giant Mojave with more buildings and -again- good pizza. I was starting to feel like I had a recurring role on Breaking Bad.
Anyway, I was finally able to get a hotel room and a shower. Adam said he would drive into Bakersfield to pick me up he next day. And the hotel had both laundry and continental breakfast. I was safe from the tweakers. For now.