Mile 369 to 384
I have a great breakfast at a cafe, then head to the hardware store to be there when they open. I am told the truck arrived late and they have not had time to unload the totes, so my lithium batteries are somewhere in the mix, but who knows where. Four women proceed to rummage through all the crates, apologizing constantly, but never giving up. They eventually resort to turning crates over in the aisles and spreading merchandise all over the floor. This goes on for an awkward amount of time, when suddenly a woman cries out as if she has just found the final gold Wonka wrapper. This town is too hiker friendly to believe.
In the parking lot, before I can even raise my “To Trail” sign, a Prius pulls up and the driver says hop in. Don is a retired school teacher from Thousand Oaks where Terri and I once lived. He swifts me back to the trailhead. I am not sure if the nicest people in the world are drawn to live near trails, or if trails actually make people nice. When I get home I am going to build a trail through my backyard.
I have been fairly active in scouting. I was in a troop with my brother and our dad was the scoutmaster. In Pleasanton my three boys were scouts and I was the scoutmaster. Aside from a few political and social issues the organization has struggled with, I think it provides a great service to young boys. And it all started with Baden Powell.
Today I am climbing the mountain named in his honor, the 9,383 foot high Mount Baden Powell. The grade is extremely steep and there are a zillion switchbacks. I know because I count them. Halfway up I begin to think of other ways we could have honored the man. The Baden Powell National Scenic Prairie for example. Or the Baden Powell Gently Sloping Downward Trail. Or the Baden Powell Water Slide and Theme Park. Instead I continue to climb the Mount Seriously Did You Want To Kill These Boys Baden Powell.
The view at the top is fantastic. I would love to be standing with Brian, just as I stood with my dad next to this very monument. I was probably all of 13 years old when we backpacked the Silver Moccasin Trail.
I push on to Little Jimmy campground, with pit toilets and picnic tables. Having gotten a late start this seems like a great place to crash. Besides, I am pretty sure I camped here before with Dad.