I’m counting down the days (23) until this year’s Mt. Whitney climb. I have two more hard training hikes in the next two weeks and then I can taper off and let my body heal a bit. Tomorrow, Wednesday, I plan on doing about 24 miles at Rancho San Antonio in the Los Altos Hills. If I can finish the hike without serious distress, I can declare myself Whitney-ready.
Today I share an excerpt from ‘The Mount Whitney Journals’. It’s from the fifth chapter (Book V) which takes place mainly in 2009, but the events in this particular excerpt happened just three months after my 2007 trip (#4) while I was driving cross country to move back to California from Florida.
The Mount Whitney Journals – Book V – 2009
November 2, 2007, 1:00 p.m. Bakersfield, TX Rest Stop at mile marker 308, Interstate 10, 308 miles east of the New Mexico/Texas border.
Bakersfield, TX – My previous instances of insulting the town of Bakersfield, California have caught up with me and bit me in the ass. As a result, I now find myself sitting on a bench in this windswept Texas rest stop waiting for a mechanic to drive in from a nearby town to change a tire on the trailer I’m towing behind my rented moving truck. I just discovered the hard way that there’s a strong karmic connection between like named towns. Insult one and you insult all of them.
What scares me is that my Bakersfield insults have paled in comparison to the barbs I’ve directed at Starbucks over the past ten years. Heaven help me if there’s a town called Starbucks in New Mexico or Arizona on the road ahead. The ground might swallow me whole, including the truck and all my belongings. Or worse, I could be chased down and eaten by a large, excuse me, ‘Venti’, Gila monster.
I just got off the phone with the assistance coordinator from Budget Roadside Assistance who said it would be an hour to 90 minutes before someone can come out. It sounds bad, but it’s a significant improvement from the original five-hour quote I received on my first call almost an hour ago. It turns out that I couldn’t have picked a single spot along the entire route from Florida to California that is further from a mechanic than this particular spot. I am quite literally in the middle of nowhere. I can’t say this part of Texas is exactly God-forsaken, but it could use a little more attention from divine powers.