Wrightwood Fiasco

Wrightwood Fiasco

May 6, 2014

Start: Halfmile 0369.5
End: Halfmile 0369.5
Distance: ZERO
Cumulative: 379.0 Mi

It was a chilly morning. Sleet covered the south-facing aspect of many of the trees and plants. Testament to the windy night. It hammered my tent all night long. I wasn’t sure the little abode would hold up, but she did. I slept in this morning and caught a ride around 9a with Trail Dancer. I was playing pick-a-boo with the sun attempting to dry out my gear when he managed to flag down a jeep. I wasn’t about to turn down a ride on this lightly-travelled highway, so I shoved my gear in my pack and hopped in.

I’ve since hit the PO, signed the PCT register, bought my resupply, and backed up my photos. I’ll have some lunch and hopefully catch a ride out of here in the next hour or two. Blogging and backing up photos, that’s where I’m losing most of my time in town. But they’re both necessary. And I seem to be getting more efficient overall. Taking the time to do these things is part of my hike. I think that’ll make it hard to find a hiking partner, since those going at my pace seem to need far less time in town. Ah well, I like having the trail to myself.


May 7, 2014

Start: Halfmile 0369.5
End: Halfmile 0369.5
Distance: ZERO
Cumulative: 379.0 Mi

Well…I’m stranded. I had big dreams yesterday. I was gonna be quick in town and hit the trail in the afternoon. Yeah. Well, I went to grab a bite after I finished up at the library and met a few folks at the local pub. They bought me lunch and we got to talking. I spent a few hours there and the weather was nasty anyways, so I figured I’d camp up at Inspiration Point (where the trail crosses Hwy 2) and get going first thing this morning. I even got a ride back up there from one of the locals I met. Well shortly after she dropped me off, I realized that my phone had fallen out of my pocket in her car. Eff. All I know is her first name and that she said she’s from Oak Hills. Or, wait…Pinon Hills? Oh man. Well at least I know she’s 38. And she drives a red Mustang. It’s not much to go on.

I’ve spent all day today trying to track her down. I facebook stalked like crazy, talked to the bar tender at the pub, ravaged the local phone book, called Verizon, and even contacted the local Sheriff’s office – all to no avail. My phone is on Airplane Mode, so I can’t call or track it. The Sheriff’s office says I don’t have enough information. I’d need to know her full name and date of birth. Yeah sure, I should totally know that about someone that I knew for a couple hours.

There are three things that I really can’t just leave behind: my camera, my journal/wallet, and my phone. Anything else, I would’ve just said “Ah well, such is life” and kept hiking. It’s not so easy to walk away from my phone, because it has all of my maps/guides backed up on it, my spending notes, my todo list, my phone numbers and email, my logistics plans for the rest of the hike, my application and interview notes for the job I hope to get post-hike, everything.

I figure I’ll camp up at the trail in the same place tonight. If she realizes she has my phone, she may try to find me there. Otherwise, I’ll hitch back down to Wrightwood again tomorrow morning and check one last time at the pub and library, then head on to Oak Hills (or was it Pinon Hills?!) to sketchily see if I can spot her car, then hit the Verizon Store in Phelan as a last resort to buy a cheapy phone. Oh, the trail. It’s all part of the experience, yeah? I’ll give it another day or two to see if it works out, then I’ll have to cut my losses and be on my way. Wish me luck!


May 8, 2014

Start: Halfmile 0369.5
End: Halfmile 0369.5
Distance: ZERO
Cumulative: 379.0 Mi

Well yesterday morning was gorgeous, but the weather rolled in again last night. I hitched down to Wrightwood again this morning to check in at the local pub – no luck. Ok, Plan B. I hitched down to Phelan where I caught a bus to Hesperia. From there, I walked another 4-ish miles to Oak Hills. I guess I was hoping blind faith might lead me to her. Oak Hills didn’t seem very big, but it was extremely rural and sprawled. The high school was way bigger than I expected. Still, I spent a few hours there. I checked at the local gym, but they didn’t have any members named “Michelle” (or “Michele” or “Me-shell” or whatever) who matched the age she had told me. Who knows; that may not even be her age. Haha, this is so random!

As you can imagine, it’s been a long, anxious day. Once I came to the conclusion that my situation was hopeless – and that I’d done everything that I possibly could – I was satisfied with my effort. I finally made the courageous (haha) decision to let it go. I stopped in at the Verizon store and bought a way-too-expensive burner phone. It’s possible that my smarty pants phone will come back to me eventually, but I’m not holding my breath.

And now, unfortunately, I’ve missed the last bus back to Phelan. Oh, it just keeps getting better and better! I’m camping in the open desert adjacent to a mall / shopping center. My biggest concern out here is getting mugged. Give me bears and pumas any old day.