Paradise Cafe to Idyllwild
MIle: 152 (0)
Kett noticed that I’ve been referencing Douglas Adams, the mastermind who wrote Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in all of my register entries. “So long and thanks for all the water,” I wrote in a register at a water cache. “So long and thanks for all the calories,” I scribbled on a cardboard box of trail magic. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. Why? I don’t know. Why does anyone do anything? Kett and Seitan think I’ve been doing this because my trailname is supposed to be 42. If you aren’t Douglas Adams savvy, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything in between, or nothing at all. Will 42 stick as my PCT trailname? I don’t know.
Ben meets Kett, Seitan, and I at the Paradise Cafe for breakfast. We’re sitting at the bar, chowing on eggs and hashbrowns, listening to locals gab about the weather. The San Juan Mountains are scheduled to get a bunch of snow tonight and tomorrow, and the trail is about to climb to 10,000 feet. Since none of us equipped ourselves for high-elevation snow travel in the desert, it doesn’t make sense to go prancing off into a winter wonder land.
Bummer. But, hey, at least we’re not on the trail getting blindsided by something we didn’t know was coming.
Ben and I hitch a ride to Idyllwild with a jubilant couple of seniors, Lynwood and Alice. We’re in the backseat of their pickup truck, a magical place full of bibles and stuffed animals, conversing about God, forest fires, and the legalization of marijuana. “I heard that stuff was good for your sex life, so I was thinking about growin’ some,” he tells us. Alice sighs. “I tell my ex-husband ‘thanks for bringin’ me to California, so I could meet the man my Lord intended me to be with.'” I guess her ex-husband should have smoked more grass?
In Idyllwild, Ben and I rent a small cabin for the night. Kett and Seitan eventually join us, along with four other hikers. We go out for a couple beers at a local divebar and the strangest thing happens-It starts to snow in the desert.