[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

David's Latest Journal Update

Here is David's latest journal update.

David's Dad

[02 June - 05 June 00]
One more morning round of the fire station's environment.  Great
breakfast at Thelma's, say goodbye to waitresses Sean and Kalelane, pack
this and send that. Wait, reading and e-mailing, at the new donut shop
across the street until just before the Marta bus, then $1 to get to the
Rite-Aid, then catch the $5 OTM (Off The Mountain) bus down to San

The OTM bus winds the San Bernardino's contour-hugging curves for over
two hours, visiting different towns. As we descend, the air molecules
crowd together until all the seats are filled and I am hugging my pack to
my lap.

The second stop in San Bernardino places me in the parking lot of the
Greyhound Station; a hobbling block further is an inexpensive motel run
by a serious-faced, nearly scowling Indian family. It's Friday afternoon
and I immediately dive into the San Bernardino Yellow Pages. The
"Orthopaedic Institute" something or other, the only likely-looking
candidate, promises to call back within an hour. An hour and half later
the therapist, or doctor, or whatever won't talk to me. "My trip is too
important to me to risk on you folks."  Since it is essentially the
weekend I resolve to drop further down to more-expensive LA on Monday.

I drift, limping, between the Carousel Mall, the movie theater, and a
Mexican restaurant. I am on the border between very poor and a very
commercial area. My disability and its accompanying sense of helpless
ineffective powerlessness make me identify with a faster-walking barefoot
downcast woman with urine-stained shorts. Within a block, though, I will
turn the corner, pull out my credit card, and sit down to a Corona and a
meal of pork tacos. 

In the afternoons, worn out and sore although I am at sea level and
packless, I can take advantage of the hotel's ice machine and pack my
knee for hours.  This activity seems to help considerably more than the
elevation/ibuprofin technique, so much so that Monday I resolve to wait
another day.  As Monday progresses, though, I see that my knee
deteriorates quickly, and decide to follow-through with the next leg to

[06 May - 08 May 00]
There are at least 10 buses a day to LA and I finally catch the 1320 for
$8.50. At the LA station there is a hotel board and after much
contemplation a van is coming from downtown to pick me up. The Hotel de
la Ville turns out to be a very bare-bones place that charges even for
800-number phone calls and gives out ice begrudgingly. But if the first
motto of the PCT is "adapt!", the second is "be patient!", and my
switchback-honed skills in that area stand me in good stead.

Apparently Idyllwild actively resists chain stores, so much so that a
Taco Bell inexplicitly burned to the ground a while back.  LA apparently
hasn't followed that lead, however, and I can get my Starbucks fix a
couple of blocks away.

I have an appointment tomorrow with an orthopaedic surgeon at the
Orthopaedic Hospital.  To make the appointment I had to call the "Joint
Replacement Unit"!  Ken from the hotel says that Michael Jordan had his
finger fixed up at the Orthopaedic Hospital, so I have hopes for my knee,
if not for my skills at the hoop.  Meanwhile my knee is apparently
unaware that the ice is grudging-ice and seems to improve daily.  If this
rate of progress continues, and if tomorrow's appointment goes well,
chances are good that I could be back on the trail within a few days. 
That would put me about 2 1/2 weeks behind schedule. If, somewhere on the
trail, I jump ahead 300-400 miles, I might be able to make it to the
Canadian border before the snow flies, then come back to the skipped
portion and complete it during October. Since it would be better to start
up again in a place that doesn't require long distances between resupply
points, it seems at this point that it would be best to start up again
where I left off, continue through the Sierras, then jump ahead to
somewhere within Oregon.  But - one day at a time.

I'm writing from "The Water Court" in downtown LA.  Water is so plentiful
here that it lies around in pools and they squirt it up into the air in
fancy patterns and sequences. [Ironic contrasts aside, this is a really
amazing setup] The water comes from Owens Valley, east of the Sierras, in
the LA aqueduct, which the PCT parallels in another couple of hundred
miles, if I can ever get there. In years past, PCT hikers have been able
to open "portholes" in the roof of the aqueduct to get water. The ports
were cemented over, during a renovation I believe, partly to keep local
landowners from nourishing their thirsty lawns by night.  I wonder if,
trudging through the Mohave desert along the cement-covered river of
inaccessible water, I will remember this plaza and its sprays of clear,
clean, sparkling liquid.

There are also hundreds of kids here, but I doubt that they came through
the aqueduct.

 -- Dave
* From the PCT-L |  Need help? http://www.backcountry.net/faq.html  *