Day 38, 39, 40 – 5/20, 5/21, 5/22
Miles – 0
Total Miles – 591.0 (PCT 566.5)
The residents of Tehachapi really like to help hikers. Will and I had to walk 1.5 miles to the post office to get our re-supply box. As we walked over, a car pulled up and asked if we needed a ride to the post office. We said yes. We picked up two boxes at the P.O. and as we began to walk back to the hotel, another vehicle pulls up and asks us if we needed a ride to town. Again we accepted. In a very short time we were back in our room organizing our gear.
Later in the day, all four Ravens walked 1.5 miles to the other end of town. We got lunch, snacks, and new shoes for Mama Raven. After trying a number of different shoes, she settled on a men’s 4E wide New Balance shoe.
Mama Raven has soaked her feet several times in warm water and Epson Salts, trying to see if that would help her swollen and inflamed feet.
One of Mama Raven’s feet is feeling a little better, the other is the same. We continued to soak Mama Raven’s feet. We have been debating if we should take Mama Raven to a medical clinic to have her feet looked at. After breakfast, I bumped into Smokey outside our hotel room. He was getting ready to get back on the trail. I was talking to him and found out that he is a professor of medicine and chief of the division of experimental medicine at UC San Francisco. I asked him if he could take a look at Mama Raven’s feet. He said yes. We found Mama Raven sitting on the bathroom counter, soaking her feet in the sink while she was working on photographs on the tablet. After Smokey took a photograph of Mama Raven, he looked at her feet. He quickly diagnosed her with some condition we never heard of. Her toes are so swollen that her whole toe nails have become ingrowned and an infection has set in. He also said that what she is doing, soaking and staying off of them, is the best thing she can do for them. Mama Raven’s body, he said, is already fighting off the infection so he did not recommend getting antibiotics for the infection. He added, it is always better if possible, to let the body heal itself than to take antibiotics.
Today was the day that friends of ours from Fallbrook are coming up to visit. The occasion is an early birthday party for Little Crow and to get Will and his friends together. We had a quiet morning waiting for company to arrive with much anticipation. Mid-morning Denise and Cheryl showed up with Ely, William, and Tyler. Sadly, David had gotten sick so he and Karin were unable to come. They brought all kinds of snacks, brownies, caramel and chocolate dipped apples, birthday candles and balloons for the celebration. Cheryl and Denise also got Little Crow a wide headband for her hair, rainbow loom bands so she can make bracelets and temporary tattoos. The kids have school in the morning so they left around 5:00 p.m. Everyone had a really fun time. Thank you Cheryl and Denise for making the gathering happen. It meant a lot to all of us, but especially for Little Crow and Will!
The weather was supposed to be bad yesterday, but it wasn’t. Just a little cloudy. This morning was a different story. It had rained over night and was foggy and very cold this morning. As we had breakfast, it started to rain again. It lasted for several hours. We agreed we would still get back on the trail today.
One of Mama Raven’s feet is looking very good. The other is better, but still inflamed. As the morning went on we kept checking the weather, it kept raining and stayed terribly cold; then the clouds dropped down into the valley. We knew that leaving here we would have to hike up and into those clouds. After much contemplation, we changed our mind and have decided it would be best to stay one more night. This will let the weather pass and Mama Raven to heal more. Three zeros in a row makes it hard to get hiking again, especially with heavy packs and eight days of food. It was a quiet day in the hotel room watching Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch and Alaska’s Bush People. I believe Animal Planet’s Monster Week was also watched, however Little Crow got too scared. In the afternoon, Will and Little Crow started to go stir crazy so we decided to walk to the far end of town to a Baskin Robbins ice cream store. Today, Little Crow met a hiker in the hotel lobby named Nailz, a young women hiking the trail who has lost six toenails since the beginning of her hike. Nailz commented that she liked the temporary butterfly tattoos Little Crow had on her face. Nailz asked Little Crow if she would trade something for some tattoos. The final trade was two tattoos for two small snicker bars and the business deal was concluded with a hand shake!