After attempting to wake up at 6 am, after four alarms were set to snooze, I woke up on day eleven at 7:06 am. I packed up my tent, ate a quick breakfast which usually is some sort of bar to jump-start some energy into my system, and I was off. Two miles into the trail I realized that I had forgotten to apply what has become one of my more cherished belongings to my skin, my anti-chafe cream. So I paused for a minute, took off my pack and reached in where it has been every single day since starting. This tube of cream is 8.2 fluid ounces so finding it usually isn’t any difficulty. Today was different, as I ended up emptying the contents of my pack fully in a frantic search. It was gone, and I was in deep trouble. Some people never chafe, and for those who are fortunate enough to not worry won’t understand the tragedy that was at hand for me, or at rear. I am chafe prone, and now I was feeling like a naked baby out in the desert.
Five miles ahead is a place to get fresh water, called Walden. Walden has a few picnic tables, a large container of water, and a small bird house library. A few of my friends were here getting water when I told the story of my missing cream, and a random hiker must have been listening because he intervened saying, “Did you lose a huge tube of cream, was it purple??” I quickly said that yes, indeed that was my gigantic bottle of butt cream. He then told me that his buddy had picked it up, but that his buddy was an older gentlemen named Dave, and that Dave was also ever so slightly overweight. My dreams of reuniting with my cream were crushed, realizing that Dave would probably never catch up to me. This gentlemen, Brian, assured me that when Dave caught up to him that he would grab the cream in an attempt to relay the cream forward. I still had a chance . .
The story flashes forward three days later when I finally saw Brian again, in Idyllwild at mile 179. I was camping at Mt. San Jacinto State Park, when a friend mentioned that she saw Brian and a few others a couple of campsites down from ours. I ran over and met with him and he instantly said, “Dave is at the Ranger’s office!!!” I booked it straight down through the middle of the park and saw an older guy that matched the description. I yelled, “DAVE!?” It was him, and he still had my cream. He carried the stuff for over 35 miles because of some kid who was asking about it. Hero’s come in all shapes and sizes, my just so happened to be a sixty year old, 250 pound Bostonian. HA
I came back to the site where my friends awaited. I held the tube up in all of its glory and as they looked at it, smiles quickly arose from their quick to judge faces. The cream is called “Butt’r”, and it didn’t take long for one member of the group to say, “Your trail name should be Butt’rs’!” I stood no chance in defending against that, and to be quite honest I am lucky to be given this name . . it could be so much worse.