In an effort to prep for our Cottonwood Pass approach for our assault of Mt. Whitney in June, we are headed out to the island of Catalina for a “warm-up” backpacking trip. As stated in our previous post, we have done this trek before, were serious “green horns”, and have since learned a ton. Our mistake this morning was thinking that things would run smoothly and we would be able to slip out from under Mr. Murphy’s (of Murphy’s Law) purview and have a mishap free adventure. We are optimists are heart. But NO! No such case. As luck would have it, we barely made it to the boat in time. It all began with a backtrack to Brian and Jody’s house for pack covers and rain jackets. This morning’s forecast now called for rain for our last two days on the island. WTF?! This is especially noteworthy as we had delayed this trip from our previous launch date (2 weeks prior) due to what Brian read was to be some serious inclimate weather. Said weather never materialized. In fact, it was absolutely gorgeous weather all that week. All still would have been fine, even with the backtrack, had there not been a semi-truck roll-over at our last exit to the ferry terminal in San Pedro. We found ourselves less than 2 miles (go figure) from where we need to be. It was 0830 and the boat leaves at 0900…and we still had to pick up our tickets. (They have not upgraded to bar code E-tickets.) Thank goodness for Martha (our Google maps direction lady, at least that’s what we call her) and her reroute directions, of which we followed to a “T”. If you don’t, she gets pissed off and sends you to a dead end. (1. Because Martha is a bitch, and 2. She is friends with Mother Nature…Mr. Murphy’s wife) With 12 minutes to spare we pull into the terminal parking lot and have decided to divide and conquer. Jody and I will go for tickets while Brian and Paul haul the packs to the boat. As we exit the car, we are greeted by a large group of grade school children. Shit! We should have made reservations. Seeing how the morning is going, we fully expect to be told that the boat is full, as we rush into the terminal lobby and approach the ticket counter winded. Jody now looks at me forlornly and exclaims, “Shit, I forgot to grab my wallet!”. It appears that “Shit” will be this week’s operative word, and that “Shit” will certainly “happen” no matter how prepared or seasoned we think we are. Seriously Mr. Murphy, don’t you have other people to follow? We are not that interesting, really. Good thing I have mine, and more importantly, enough dinero to cover all our tickets…provided we can still get on the 0900 boat (it’s now 0852). We are in luck. The boat is not full and although we are not all of “Senior” pricing age, the gal sells us 4 tickets at the Senior price, and doesn’t even check our ID.
What he hell! It’s bad enough we don’t get carded at the bars anymore, but because we are cheap, we’ll take the discount. I grab the tickets and we scamper to the gangway where Brian and Paul are actively reassuring the deckhand that the ‘gals with the tickets’ are on their way. I hand the tickets to the deckhand who examines them (to make sure we are getting on the right boat…there are 2) and we scramble down the gangplank to another deckhand who stores our bags in the Hold. It is 0858. Just as we find our seats, the massive diesel engines start up and at 0900 we shove off. Phew! That was close! Funny thing. We haven’t even begun to hike, but the adventure has begun.