So much for the plan. I did get up at 3:00am, I did get to Big Basin by 4:45. I did start hiking at 4:55 (with flashlight for about half an hour until it got bright enough. Note to self: bring compass when hiking in the dark. It’s impossible to keep a sense of direction in the middle of a pitch-black forest). I made good time, until about 2h30min into the hike, when suddenly, there’s a sharp pain in my right foot. I stop, rest, massage, etc. It gets better but as soon as I start hiking again, it hurts again. So I hobble down to Waddell beach, pain getting worse. I figure there’s no way I can hike all 12 miles back to my car again, uphill this time.
Wonder oh wonder, the end-of-trail bathroom has a pay phone. (The entire region has no AT&T cell coverage regardless of what their map says. I didn’t even bother to bring my cell phone.) It’s about 8:45 in the morning, I call home, my wife picks up, I hear her clearly — and she cannot hear a word I am saying! How am I supposed to get her to pick me up?
So I try hither and fro, to find another pay phone, but of course there is none. Ranger station only opens in 3 hours, and it’s unclear what they would do for me anyway. So I talk to people on the beach asking whether anybody has cell coverage, but apparently nobody does regardless of carrier. Some people are successful getting some texts through, when I realize that I am not even sure of my wife’s cell number. (The perils of shortcuts.) So that won’t work either, and I’m not sure she would carry her cell on a lazy Sunday morning anyway.
Finally, I find a surfer dude who is offering to give me a ride into Santa Cruz once he’s done surfing.┬áSaved! Getting into Santa Cruz, he also lends me his cell phone so I can summon my wife for a rescue operation. Thanks!!
Well, rescue operation succeeded, car retrieved, etc. Foot is better, as long as it does not need to hike in my hiking boots! I think they are the culprit, although I have hiked many times in them without any problems whatsoever. They do feel awfully “flat” and unsupportive of the arch, though. Maybe too old. Time for a new pair.
Although it was shorter, more painful and involving more cars than expected, It was beautiful anyway.