Migrant Trail Walk #7

Friday 5/29/09

Another hot one!

Last night we discovered about 7PM that the key to the rented 15-passenger van got mistakenly taken with one of the drivers when she had to return to her home in Denver. So this morning was a time of shuttling walkers and the supply trailers back down the 8.3 miles (each way) from the campground to the place on the highway where we left off yesterday.

Fortunately Pat stayed with us overnight so he was able to help pull a trailer and shuttle people in his pick-up truck. I made a trip down with the food team and their trailer while most of the others were still packing up their tents and gear. I unhooked the trailer by the highway and returned up the hill to give others a ride down. Each round trip takes 30-40 minutes. I had to return a third time to get a large drink cooler left in our (now keyless) van so we can give the walkers a choice of Gatorade or water on this extremely (again) hot day.

Although yesterday was longer, because we started so early in the darkness, it didn’t seem as difficult a today’s heat. I was able to walk some as Mel and I swapped driving responsibilities again today.

We ended at “Serenity Baptist Church” near Robles Junction (3 Points) a little after noon. The church graciously welcomed us to sleep and rest in their main sanctuary, their library, and/or their Sunday School/child care building. Some buildings are air conditioned while the sanctuary is cooled with a swamp cellar system that adds moisture to the air to cool it. It was very comfortable!

After a wonderful Thai food lunch supplied by a local Buddhist group (with watermelon provided by the Baptists), most of us just stretch out and enjoy the cool rest – with serenity! It is so serene; most of us doze off.

A couple more walkers have to leave today after lunch. It is sad to say goodbye to someone you’ve just shared these past 50+ miles with under these conditions – but the group will go on.

The jackrabbits and red-tailed hawks are a sight to see. Tom spied a horned toad at one of our water stops. I spotted a colorful beetle or ant that had a bright yellow thorax with an equally bright red head –all on a chassis that was black. I also saw a lizard that was black with orange markings and a black snake with yellow markings on this walk or at the campsites. Another roadrunner scooted across the road today. I wish they and the jackrabbits would sit still long enough for me to snap their picture.

After another good meal, this time it is vegetarian lasagna, the leaders announce that this evening will be the annual Migrant Trail Walk talent share. There is some significant talent to go around but I need to drive Jill back to the Caballo Loco Ranch first to retrieve the van so we can use it tomorrow – so we miss the first half of the show. We return in time to hear some great songs and it appears that everyone had a good time.

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