Return of the Trailsman!
It was an early morning rise at the Motel 6. Breakfast followed soon after. Continuing my health food streak, we (Kool-Aid and I) ventured over to Carl’s Jr. It was meh, but we had some nice conversation.
Later that morning, I joined Snickers and Grit for a walk down to Wal-Mart. I didn’t need much, but thought it’d be fun to see them again. And I did end up getting stove fuel and a few food items to supplement the food resupply that was arriving later in the day. I considered purchasing this cast iron skillet, but felt it was too small for my needs.
I made it back to the motel around 10:30am and took a quick shower before packing up. We were late to our 11:00am checkout time since trying to cram all of Kool-Aids stuff into his pack. He now has crampons and a bear canister and additional clothing items, so it’s a tight squeeze.
Snickers and Grit kindly offered their room as an area that we could use to stage our packs. So, after check out, we walked over and found them hanging in their little kitchenette space. We stayed for a while just catching up again, but then we all went out following Snickers on a bit of an adventure to find a secret soft serve ice cream place he’d found the day before. None of us really knew where or how far we were going but for him, but we trusted our fearless leader!
During our travels we also searched for the bus stop to go to the trail, to Todd’s Outdoor Supply Store, and finally to the Indian Wells Drive Thru where we got our ice cream. I was the only one to go for a mixed chocolate and vanilla cone. The others all did straight vanilla. This seemed odd to me. In my experience chocolate is typically the favored flavor. I hope this doesn’t strike up a heated debate over the best ice cream flavor.
On the way back, Snickers took us through a neighborhood rather than the way we’d come. Apparently back in Manhattan he leads hikes for his hiker club and some are urban hikes where he’s done research and such…no knowledge of this particular Ridgecrest area, but still interesting to walk through. Eventually, we made it back to the main road on which most things are located. At this point, Snickers turned left to go to the post office and the local museum. Grit, Kool-Aid, and I went to find lunch.
There aren’t many sit down restaurants in this town, so we found ourselves at McDonald’s. Grit couldn’t pass up the 50 nuggets for $10 deal! Don’t worry folks, she didn’t finish all in one sitting.
After lunch, we made our way back to the Travel Inn and Suites and hung out in their motel room. Grit is planning to take some time off trail and skip the Sierra section, so some planning for that was done as well.
I had been texting with father David throughout the day to hear about his travels. His flight came in on time at noon, but without his pack! Oh the frustration. From what I heard, he found out quickly that it was on the next flight, which would arrive at 1:40pm. Super amazing trail angel cousins Jim and Chris Nydam were once again helping team Hoekwater through! After picking dad up from the airport, they did an In-N-Out visit, then proceeded back to the airport for him to get the bag. Success!
Around 4:45pm-ish, the Nydam crew and dad showed up at the motel where we were still at! It was a joyous occasion for sure. We had made the plan at some point to stay in town again and get a fresh start at the trail tomorrow. Kool-Aid was in to do the same as well and the two of us both booked rooms at the Sure Stay by Best Western (I decided I’d upgrade from the Motel 6). So when they arrived, after reconnecting for a bit, we hopped in to the car and got a quick ride over to our new motel.
Once checked in to our room. We enjoyed another treat…the fresh squeezed orange juice from Jim! Although, this stuff is so delicious it seems that it would fill me up by itself, we opted to go for dinner too! As I mentioned earlier, besides fast food, there aren’t many restaurants in town, so we ended up at the same Mexican restaurant from the night before, Olvera’s.
It was tasty and the conversation was lovely! After dinner, the Nydams dropped us off at our motel and we said our goodbyes. So thankful once again for their generosity and helping hearts!
Dad and I spent some time organizing and going through our gear. We had a good omen when one of dad’s classic movies was playing on TV…Jeremiah Johnson. What an inspiration! Then, it was an early night to rest up for hiking tomorrow. We’re pretty pumped to get at it together again!