Matters of Great Import

Day 31: Sawmill Campground to Wee Vill Market

Trail miles 498.2-517.6

June 2, 2019

If you wake up at 4am on the ridge between Casa de Luna and Hikertown, you can look east and watch liquid sunlight spill over the mountains across the valley and pool in gleaming fields of solar panels on the desert floor. That’s where I was and that’s what I did this morning.

No matter where you are, if you wake up at 4am, 9am is lunch time. And despite my hunger and general feelings of lethargy, today I skipped lunch in favor of hiking with Danish (this ultramarathoner hikes fast) down and off of the grassy, oak covered ridge we climbed yesterday. As we walked, we took advantage of the cool morning, using our as-yet unscrambled brains to discuss the basics: whether free will is an illusion and whether there exists knowledge that the human brain is physically incapable of understanding.

With the trivial questions out of the way, we turned to more pressing concerns: would we be able to get root beer floats from Hikertown (a strange collection of tiny buildings in the desert, built to look like an old west town, that rents basic rooms to hikers for $10), or would we need to hitch to the Wee Vill Market for supplies?

As it turned out, Wee Vill Market offered free rides from the trailhead and free camping on the lawn outside their cafe/convenience store. Danish and I met Spartan at the highway crossing and called the market for a ride.

The next hour saw all our needs met: we pitched our tents, bought a pint of vanilla ice cream and ordered root beer with our sandwiches, showered in the low concrete shack behind the restaurant, and did laundry in a 10 gallon bucket, scrubbing our clothes by hand and changing the water until it ran clean (truthfully, the laundry water never ran clean, and I suspect that it will never run clean again considering the amount of dirt and sweat my clothes have absorbed this last month).

Throughout the afternoon, the rest of our trail family trickled in to find the oasis that is Wee Vill Market. I took advantage of our early arrival by relaxing in my tent while the others ordered their own food and drink. One perk of getting up at 4am is that you can walk 20 miles by early afternoon. A major disadvantage is that by 5pm, the sleeping bag inside your tent looks almost irresistibly inviting, especially when the thunderheads that have been threatening rain since morning finally open up and drop another dose of rain on the “desert” you’ve been walking through.

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