Day 27 – maTtox canyon creek to hiker heaveN
April 23 | Miles 440.2 - 454.5
I was awoken at 2AM by the sounds of Store Brand and Vulture having a little midnight chat, which led to me receiving an everything bagel with honey, delivered right to my tent.
I woke up for real at 5:55 and scrambled to pack up as fast as possible. I beat feat outta there to get a jump start on the race but was soon caught when I had to de-layer halfway up the first hill of the morning.
Once I got caught and passed, I was full-blown running. I took a few beatings. One skinned knee and lost water bottle cap later I was back up and in the game. I climbed quickly through dry fields of wheat.
I passed a bunch of friends we’d seen before, gathering intel on how close ahead the competition was. I knew I wasn’t far behind.
I jogged through a crazy highway underpass tunnel that was completely dark in the center.
After that the trail crossed through the Vasquez Rocks area, where tons of movies including Star Wars have been filmed. It was otherworldly–like being on Mars.
I busted out the last few waterless miles to town, arriving only about 20 minutes after Store Brand. After conceding, I did my thing and scored us a primo hitch with a truck driver named Javier, and we were promptly ferried to Hiker Heaven (myself sitting on a 5 gallon bucket in the truck cab).
The place was a literal tent city–overwhelming at first, but better once I got a shower, laundry (courtesy of the angelic Donna Saufley who does this out of pure generosity), my resupply box, and a few cold sodas.
Howie the Pittie mix was a major highlight (big licker).
Some of the crew ended up going out for Mexican food. I devoured a giant veggie burrito and a few Coronas before heading over to the grocery store to grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Crunch. Naturally, I got us a hitch back to Hiker Heaven with a nice lady named Susan and her sweet pup Abby.
We sat around the fire and goofed around before we all passed out around 9. Typical.