Wingman from the Roadside: I woke early to a nice cool breeze. I put on my shorts and went for a short jog and it made me feel a lot better. No snakes! Just really fast ground squirrels and Jack rabbits. My sister had called to check in with me and when I told her where I was she told me I was nuts and suggested I find some people and a little more pleasant environment to wait. She’s always got good advice.
I get good radio reception here! Four religious stations and one classic rock. Perfect. The radio DJ just said the temperature high for the day would only be 97 degrees. Oh, and Runningbird’s really cool reflective umbrella has imploded in the wind somewhere back before Tehachapi. Fortunately the wide-brimmed safari hat we found for her near Acton seemed to be working well for her.
Later in the day Runningbird was able to get a call through to me and said she felt she would arrive to Walker Pass about 9 AM. I could hear the exhaustion and frustration in her voice. After the call I decided to take my sister’s advice and find a campground. There was a KOA not far away near Lake Isabella and since Runningbird was probably going to take a short day and hang out with me, at least it would be a more pleasant place to be. I eagerly put the truck and trailer to the pavement and headed for the KOA in Weldon. It actually turned out to be a bit of a haul but the campground was very pleasant. Unlike another KOA (Acton), this one has beautiful large shade trees, the staff was very pleasant and low-key. They gave me the pick of the park.
After getting all set up, I found the local grocery store in Weldon (pop. 475) and bought a few snacks and ICE CREAM! When back at the KOA I met a PCT section-hiker camped behind me puffing on some green and drinking a local XPA. “Short Timer” is from Belgium and plans to hike the Sierras and the John Muir Trail before heading to SF to meet friends arriving from Belgium. We shared dinner together and called it an evening. And no, I didn’t puff any of the green stuff.