Take a Trek

Day 8: Tarzan and Moon Pies

Sunrise trail to scissors Crossing
Miles: 60 to 77 (17)

I spend an hour in my tent stretching and massaging my leg. Then something magical happens: I hike nine (nearly) painless miles. Progress is happening. I love you, progress.

Andy, Demetre, Tali, and Nicky Chafe have formed something called the “A Team.” I assume this is short for the “Are We Team,” which is short for the “Where The Fuck Are We Team.” It’s an idea that began when we got to Laguna four days ago. The “A Team” messages me, tells me to stop being a baby and catch up to them. Pretty funny, “A Team.” I’ll see you soon.

I stop for water at the junction for Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail and meet a lanky dude named Tarzan. Tarzan is telling me about his AT thru-hike and pulling a crumpled box of Moon Pies from his pack. “Want a Moon Pie?” he asks, unwrapping one for himself. There’s a giant patch on his pack that matches the box. “Wow. You really like Moon Pies, huh?” Tarzan says he’s been sponsored by Moon Pie, in exchange for photos of hikers eating the spongy cookies. I stuff a Moon Pie in my mouth. Make me famous, Tarzan.

Tarzan, The Moon Pie Guy

Somewhere below us, amongst the the dry scrub and dusty earth, is the sound of singing. It’s a carefree, crazy, voice. It’s a familiar voice. Cisco! It’s mid afternoon, siesta time on the PCT, and Cisco already scouted out a patch of shade in the chaparral. “Hey brah, wha’s happenin’?” Tarzan and I join Cisco, along with the man in Adidas pants, Brendan. The man in Adidas pants says he’s seen FOUR rattlesnakes, since he started hiking. He’s like, a snake whisperer or something. We lounge in the shade for a few hours, listening to Dropkick Murphys, snacking on carbs, and stretching our sore parts. Cisco has a bum knee, Brendan is nursing his ankle. Everyone has something.

Cisco, Brendan, and Tarzan

Cisco, Brendan, and I decide to hike out of Scissors Crossing as a group tomorrow evening. It’ll be a full moon, and Scissors Crossing marks the beginning of a 23-mile waterless, shadeless stretch of desert. Hiking at night will save us from the heat, and staying in a group will deter our four-legged nocturnal friends from saying hello. Meow.

Night hiking through the desert, under a full moon. Sounds awesome, right?