May 17- Day 17- Big Bear Hostel
Day started off great. I was first one out for a change, but was quickly passed by five other hikers I had not seen before, including AB, Big Package, and Tank. FedEx also passed as he would be hitching to Arrowhead for a BBQ at his sisters. AB and Big Package would be the only ones still at the road when I arrived, but I was quickly followed by Kramers and Goat.
We only waited ten or fifteen minutes before Ken, a middle school math teacher gave three of us a ride into Big Bear to the hostel. He had made the trip just to pick up hikers this being his second trip.
I originally planned to get a hotel being a crotchety old man but immediately ran into Pepa who proclaimed “this place is awesome!” He was originally planning to stay one night but decided to stay another night and zero. I had really liked hanging out with Pepa, Kramers and the gang so I changed my mind and decided to stay at the hostel. I got a shared room with AB, Big package, and Tank and we quickly went to work on showers, laundry and pancakes.
Over the next several hours we ate lunch at a burger joint in Big Bear Lake village, got ice cream, and watched Godzilla. Good flick but some major plot holes. ( Like bringing the lead character along on a mission due to his hands on experience in arming 1940 US nuclear bomb triggers that he apparently got serving as a navy EOD LT in Iraq. (The process involved setting the time and turning two keys)). I also discovered I had lost 24 lbs. 40 to go.
Later on we were relaxing and exchanging contact info. I rarely log into Facebook but logged in to look for an invite from Pepa. It was then that I noticed a post from mom saying that dad had been hospitalized with pneumonia. She apparently had to change cell phone numbers and no one answered at home so I called my brother Chris’s cell phone and my mom answered.
Long story short, it was very serious and by late evening he was suffering from total organ failure and by the AM was on life support hoping all three boys could be there to say goodbye.
My dad was always my hero so next morning I was driving a rental car to San Diego and Theresa and I are on a flight to Denver. I will miss the trail and the quickly formed, great friendships, but I must be with my family.