Inferno and Insects

I’m sitting in my tent, slowly melting like an abandoned candle on the dashboard of a silver VW Beetle. After promising to keep my mileage down on my first days back on the trail and a hot, long climb up from the Cajon Pass, I stopped when I found a flat spot on a high ridge overlooking the valley. If I could leave the tent, I would be able to see all of the southland from Oak Hills down to San Bernardino and back along my track across the 15 Freeway all the way to the back side of Lake Arrowhead. But there is no shade on this ridge, meaning I’d be fried like a greasy onion if I step back into that sun. So here I hunker, sweating in only a pair of shorts, waiting for the sun to go down below the ridge, playing Knock-the-Ants-Off-the-Tent-Screens. (I picked the least ant-bestrewn level spot available, but it’s still a popular Formicidae hang-out.)

My war wounds seem to be healing well, and beyond the heat, it was a good day. It occurred to me, though, that I spend little time describing the glorious things I’m seeing and the sense of adventure (however small and planned out), but on random thoughts and general musings. I feel like there are a lot of guides and blogs out there all about the splendors of the scenery, and even the pictures from my spotty iPhone do more justice to the views than my words.

But my random thoughts are what make my blog a different monster than the others from other people seeing the same thing. Perhaps this will change as I continue—this isn’t the first time I’ve thought a piece of the process was the final result, always and forever. To learn and grow is the point of the exercise.

Missing the family again, but I’ll see them for a resupply in a few days, and the sideways gift of the ankle trouble gave me another dose of love to keep me going. I’m not focusing on the long, long trail ahead, but on one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, and any other pithy aphorisms and seventies’ sitcom titles to keep me moving.

Now, back to the bulwarks.


The journey up from the pass.


Sometimes the trail passes through strange places.


Categories: Pacific Crest Trail | Tags: , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Inferno and Insects

  1. John Eldevik

    Iphone or no, you’re taking some amazing pictures. These will proudly decorate your home someday.

    • They did often come out better than I had expected. I have some apps on the phone which help; a lot of the best of these were taken with an HDR application I like a lot.

  2. Huzzah! You’re back! Great pics….

    • Thank you, ma’am. God and nature provide the subjects; I just have to put myself in the right place. I am a little sad I haven’t found more people to include in the photos, but that may come.

  3. Rick

    I enjoy your style of ramblings.Safe travels and thanks for sharing.

  4. Anthony Slusser

    So, this is the beginning of paying the hot desert toll for the privilege for continuing the journey. Sounds a lot like life,

    • Possibly, though also like life, having “paid” up front does not exempt one from paying again and again as the journey continues. I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking I’ve “arrived”; everything is a part of the pilgrimage, ups and downs.

  5. Tracy Taylor

    Glad your back on the trail!

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