Another 110-Volt VisionKwest

Casino Bingo and I, the humble Draw Poker, had commenced and completed a "training run" this past Saturday up the Angeles Crest. "Training" and "run" are elastic concepts. It pays to be flexible. It's like hearing "Chariots of Fire" played on a whoopie cushion.

We started at Vincent Gap and took it to 3 Pts. It was 28.88888 miles of self-imposed multi-level hurt. We were there to check up and make sure all the rocks hadn't been removed or smoothed over to non-standard specs.

This was the first really hot weekend we've had. I forgot to stash a cooler with ice-cold Cokes around the halfway point. This was a point of longing and regret.

More pressing than dehydration was a yawning and serious shortage that caused considerable worry. No Trail Betties. None. None anyway, until we got to Cooper Canyon. SOMEBODY was asleep at the wheel, and heads will roll. But we had been promised that Lisa Loeb would serenade us in black-rimmed glasses and a guitar. When its hot out, Minimalism is Best.

When we arrived at Cooper Cyn, it was high noon. We had already larked over Baden Powell, then dragged our narrow Euro-Asses up Mt Williamson, and joyfully made the descent. The parabolic reflectors were on, the heating coils were working. The settings were on "Medium".

As we pulled away from the second shaded stream crossing, my TrailBetty Locator began to stir. We met up with a sizeable hiking group. They must be getting ready for the Annual REI "Take Your Girlfriend Hiking" Weekend. The 2 Tuff-Guy Leaders were kitted out with regulation Shishkabob Hiking Poles, and GPS devices were probably chirping away in their packs. They were jockeying for was too close to call. Following in their wake were veritable droves of Trail Betties, outfitted in TrailReady® JogBra tops. Not a hiking pole or GPS in sight. Stepping into the bushes, I struggled to turn down the volume on the Locator, wrestling it with both hands.

By the time they all passed, the batteries had died. Nature's Majestic Silence closed in around us. It said "DORK". We plowed on. Bargaining with Nature, I made a Vow that I would accept Ms Loeb with a ukelele. Silence.

We made Cloudburst Summit. The sun had been screened by a passing cloud. We were no longer writing our wills. Unseen strangers were.

We traversed the trail section where motorcyle trash is dense. The squirrels here have elaborate dens, decorated with reflective and glittery trash from wrecked motorcycles which had reached the unexpected end point in their terrestial trajectories. They've had their cases adjudicated immediately in the Court of Natural Law, where verdicts are immediate.

OK. Ms Loeb and a pennywhistle. I know when to moderate unreasonable demands.

Heading into Glenwood, we heard a LASD Medevac chopper hovering above Highway 2. I optimistically figured that with a chopper, the likely motorcyclist would not need a coroner. A later conversation with an NFS Ranger revealed that it would likely be a fatality, as his eyes "looked real bad, with major head & spinal trauma". Keeps NSAIDs in perspective. Gawd, I love motorcycles.

We finished as Heroes, and Legends In Our Own Minds. These were not the same minds we started with. We had been stood up again by Ms Loeb. We wouldn't be hearing "Stay", not even a capella. Nature is Tough. And we Dwelt in the Double-Wide Abode Thereof, and ordered take-out.

Until the Next [Re]counting of Coup, yours truly From the VisionKwest [Un]Divided Highway,
--Draw Poker


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