Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 30: Joshua Trees!

Saturday, April 13, 2019 – 6.70 miles

Today was exciting since I saw my first Joshua tree! And touched one too, so my PCT (?) goals of touching a Joshua tree and visiting the La Brea Tar Pits have been fulfilled. I might as well go home, but I guess I’ll keep walking.

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The first Joshua tree

The first Joshua tree was followed by many others, a bright green array against the darker greens of the desert. Some were blooming with huge white blossoms. eTrails says: ‘They are pollinated by yucca moths, who lay their eggs in the flowers. The two species have coevolved such that the moth deliberately pollinates the tree so that seeds will develop, which in turn will feed the caterpillars. Charles Darwin called this “the most remarkable pollination system ever described.” Without the moth, the Joshua tree cannot reproduce, so their habitat is restricted to niches suitable for the moths.’ Cool.

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Blooming Joshua tree
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Dropbear, Bake and Alli passed so I was able to confirm to Dropbear that not walking to Disappointment Cabin had been a good choice.

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At Highway 18, I got a ride into Big Bear Lake from the first car to pass. The driver and his companions, who were from San Diego and spending the weekend at the lake, dropped me at a central location with a Vons grocery store and other shops. I bought food at the Vons, then started walking to the Motel 6 where I was planning to get a room to make resupply boxes, but was quickly offered a ride by a fellow hiker who had rented a car. His trail name was Nu… Nu… it was the name of a meditation device. Brilliantly he said to the company ‘give me a free [your device] and I’ll make it my trail name’, and they agreed. Nunova…?

The Motel 6 no longer has a hiker discount. I saw no shampoo in the room and just when I was about to visit reception to confirm that they don’t provide any, someone knocked on my door. I thought that maybe it was shampoo (why) so I opened it. The knocker was a man who had been in the lobby when I was checking in. If there are any men out there wondering whether a woman will find it creepy if you find out her room number by listening to her conversation with the front desk employee and then go and knock on her door, yes, it’s creepy. He offered me quarters, saying that he had been at reception asking about their job application process on behalf of a friend and overheard me asking the receptionist for change for the laundry. I pointed out that I had obtained said change, but he insisted on giving me the additional quarters, so okay. We talked for awhile, then he asked whether he could use my bathroom. I’m not a monster so I agreed, but I was getting impatient to leave and put on my boots while he was occupied. When he came out, he said that he was waiting for a tow truck and didn’t want to wait in the parking lot. Positioned outside the door, I said ‘Oh’. He repeated himself. I repeated myself. He vacated the room. I walked to the front office and he was gone from the vicinity by the time that I returned with some shampoo samples the front desk employee had kindly given me.

I did my laundry and ordered pizza. I was in clean clothes in time for the delivery, but the delivery person said ‘Oh, PCT?’ after one look. Is it because of the holes in my shirt…

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