Mile 72 to 78
It’s decided. We are going to crawl down to Scissors, check out water options, then hitch to Jillian for free pie and new found strength for Bri. We have lots of up hill miles ahead and she is going to need it. We make it to the desert floor and walk in the hot flat sand playing rhyming games to pass the time.
As a child you are told never to take a ride from a stranger. You might get picked up by a crazy murderer. As a teenager you are told to never pick up a hitch hiker. You might pick up a crazy murderer. There seems to be a higher than expected number of crazy murderers on and near our highways. I stand at the side of the road holding a sign “Not A Murderer.” After several cars with plenty of space for us fly by, I begin to wonder if the “Not” is as legible as the rest of the sign. We switch to the more traditional hiker “To Town” sign, with the same results. Even Bri’s smiling face and wave does not slow even a single car.
Eventually a red van with Texas plates whips in and a white bearded man in his sixties says for 5 bucks a piece he can be our shuttle. We quickly agree and pile in. On the 12 mile Mr Toads wild ride he proceeds to tell us his life story, including his DUI and how he avoids having to register his car or hold a valid California drivers license. He announces that his air bags do not work, and the non-working seat belts should be draped over our shoulders so as not to draw attention. He tells us that the Library has free WiFi, but they block all the stuff he likes to see. Why does the wilderness suddenly seem so tame, and civilization so wild?
We claim our free apple pie, ice cream, and drink at Mom’s. If you are ever in Julian support them. They are awesome to PCT thru-hikers. We decide to share a room at Julian Lodge, where we set their plumbing back five years with our bathtub stew of hiker clothes. Tomorrow we plan to hitch back to the trail to try late afternoon and night hiking. One way or another, we are getting up that hill towards Warner Springs.