Date: Friday, 02 June 2017
Start: Walker Pass, Hwy 178 crossing, at Mile 652.1, 5276 ft
Finish: Walker Pass, Hwy 178 crossing, at Mile 652.1, 5276 ft
Daily Miles: 0.0 PCT, 4.0 around town
Total PCT Miles: 652.1
Weather: Very warm and sunny
Accommodation: Lake Isabella Motel
Breakfast: Breakfast skillet
Lunch: Egg salad sandwich
Dinner: Hamburger and fries, and three small fruit tarts
Highlight: Sad, I know, but probably getting my detached crown reglued, though the dentist was a little pessimistic about the longevity of the work (and only $125).
Lowlight: Dr Google confirmed my suspicion that I have a case of giardiasis, an infection of the gut, which is not uncommon amongst hikers and usually acquired through drinking polluted water. I won’t go into the gory details, but I tick nearly all of the symptom boxes. I don’t think I have a serious case, or I wouldn’t still be hiking 20+ miles a day, but it does explain why I’ve been a little sub-par for the last week or so. It has also made me lactose intolerant (and I love my milkshakes and flavoured milk when in town). I went to a clinic in the hope of getting antibiotics, but they said I needed to go to the nearest hospital emergency department (6 miles away) where they had the facilities to test for the infection. In the end, I decided not to bother as it will likely resolve itself in the next week or so and the symptoms generally last a few weeks more, regardless of whether antibiotics are administered (according to Dr Google).
Pictures: No pictures today
Map: Click here for Google Map
I didn’t have a very good night’s sleep, and in the morning spent some time researching my suspicions that I have giardiasis on Google. I’m convinced my diagnosis is correct. I also researched the foods I should avoid, and will try to do so for the next few weeks. There was a clinic on the way to the diner where I planned to have breakfast, so I dropped in and asked if it was possible to see a doctor, and they pointed me towards the hospital (see above), but I went to the diner instead.
Nelda’s Diner was #1 on Tripadvisor restaurants in Lake Isabella, so I thought it worth the 1.5 mile trek from my motel to see why. Like some other recent towns, Lake Isabella is very spread out, and everything is a long way from the motel. There are many vacant lots, empty shop fronts and other closed businesses, and the place generally has a rundown feel, though there are exceptions. There are also a number of homeless people hanging around, despite it only being a very small town. Anyway, contrary to these generalisations, Nelda’s was atmospheric and buzzing and I was glad I had made the trip. I enjoyed one of their breakfast specials, but passed on one of their trademark milkshakes (see above). There were two pages of flavours, so it was a difficult decision.
After that, it was shopping for the next few days in a huge and very busy supermarket and then some food repacking back at the motel. In the early afternoon, I had my detached crown reglued at the local dentist and collected my new sleeping bag liner, which had now arrived at the Post Office.
Tomorrow, I’ll have an early breakfast at a coffee shop near to the highway where I plan to start hitchiking back to the trail tomorrow. I hope it goes as smoothly as the hitch into town, but I’m not counting on it.