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I left Scott’s air-conditioned trailer in Cadiz at 7:45 PM last night, and walked for another 2 to 2.5 hours up the hill. As I was leaving, Charlie, a project manager, invited me to join him, Dave, and some others for steaks. I politely declined and got on my way.

I saw the hill looming. I was almost at the top, but even though mine was the only vehicle on the road, it was dark, I was exhausted from the uphill trek, and set up camp on the side of the road. At 6 am in the morning I resumed walking, and 15 minutes later I finally made it to an old stone structure that marks the top of the hill.

I began my descent, thinking this would be a relatively easy walk. But I was wrong; it was just too hot to continue. At 7 am I pitched my tent in the shade under one of the bridges (dates of 1934-1939 painted on the wood showed it’s vintage). My plan was to stay in my tent and wait until sunset and then resume walking. (Other hikers do just this.)

I ate tuna, tangerines, Wheat Thins, and some atrocious Jif peanut butter (OMG, who eats this stuff?), and drank water and Gatorade as I waited for the sun to go down and the day to cool a little. I knew that if I pushed my pace in this heat, particularly going uphill, I’d feel miserable for hours afterward. This business of waiting, however, is for me pure torture. (I’m reminded of the character in Siddhartha who sits and waits for his current life to end so he can begin the next.)

I managed to catch up on my Daf Yomi (no cell signal required).

I waited until sundown, packed up my gear, and walked less than a mile before I realized I did not have enough strength to go on. I made a very difficult decision, and finally decided to call Scott for help. He picked me up about 5 miles from his trailer park, drove me to the Jayco, gave me chicken and dumpling soup out of a can, and set me up on the convertible bench seating/sleeping unit for the night.

Although we didn’t confirm it, I hoped he would let me rent his trailer tonight and tomorrow night while he’s gone for the weekend. I could then resume the walk Sunday or Monday. The temperatures are supposed to drop for several days, allowing me to regroup, and try again. I’m not yet ready to quit. Not yet.

@ Cadiz, California

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