Sadly I have lost a portion of my crew, at least for today. Mark's legs may never work again and the damage done him caused John to think walking with me may not be in his best interest. John does not normally participate in day time activities anyway, so we left him at the hotel. Mark was kind enough to drop Colin and I back at Pan Toll Campground, where we resumed the march at eight P.M. Bangladeshi time.
The trails took us north, paralleling the coast, although the reappearance of the mist prevented us from getting more than an occasional glimpse. Nonetheless, the scenery did provide topics of conversation. First we came upon a rusted car, lying upside down and unlikely to ever get up again. The location of the vehicle, only a foot off the trail, left us bewildered. The trail was too narrow to have driven down. The state of the car indicated it must have been thrown from the bluffs above, but how did it get there? There was no road in sight.
|Mad man blocking view of the mystery car|
We had nearly ceased speculating and given up the case as an unsolved mystery when we heard a string of curses coming from the forest. An angry man was yelling so loud and frantically we though him to be in a manic state. I was reminded of some moments I'd had when lost on the trail. What would my outbursts have sounded like to someone unlucky enough to overhear them? Ah, nostalgia...
Later, we heard the squeaky wheels of a bicycle coming up behind us. We heartily waved at our trail mate, the first human we had seen in some time. We received no greeting in return from the middle aged man, who grimly pedaled by, head down. I looked at Colin. "I think we just met Angry Man."
These oddities aside, the forest surrounding us was the main attraction. Conversations about a sequel to "The Passion of Christ" subtitled "Up in Your Ass With a Resurrection" could not compare to the ancient trees reaching high into the sky above us. Colin and Mark had talked the day before of a resemblance to the Ewok Forest from "The Return of the Jedi." As it turns out, the analogy was spot on - Mark later discovered George Lucas lived nearby and had used these very woods in the movie. The name Ewok was surely plucked from this region as well. The Native American tribe which once inhabited Marin County was known as the Miwoks.
Another stretch of forest reminded me of a different fictional creature. A bright green moss clung to these trees, thickly matted to the trunks like a fur pelt. Were these the coats of the Grinch and his family, taken as trophies? If so Whoville's vengeance was indeed swift and mighty.
By the last few miles I worried Colin might be the next casualty. His right leg had locked up and it swung clumsily forward like a rusty gate. He limped well behind, but continued to soldier on despite the pain, until we finally reached the day's ending point at Five Brooks. I was quite proud of the lad.
Mark met us a quarter of an hour later with a story of his own. He had been driving around the San Rafael area, killing time while Colin and I forged up the coast. While stopped at a red light he ran into this man:
16 miles/4102 total miles