Got them Reno Blues . . . July 23 . . . 6:15 a.m.

Reno, Nevada. I’ve been here before and it was no fun. I stood in one place last night until 11:30 and then stumbled off to find the Bishop Greyhound––a wonderful place. 

It’s so odd to be waiting for a bus they haven’t announced yet––it’s like feeling like I have taken the wrong trail. 

I back up, I retrace . . . Yesterday I came off the mountain and out of the woods. I completed one of my most daunting physical tasks ever, and now it’s over. 

It’s almost hard to pull it up––to remember any one moment––to feel any happiness or pain. 

Even the frustration of the Scott ordeal is gone. 

No one knows who I am, or what I’ve done, except the guys at the store who let me go to the front of the line––they were impressed. 

And now here I am in the Reno bus stop, watching the attendants, slowly, almost scornfully, go about their jobs as the tired patrons squirm in their plastic chairs. 

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Yeah, there used to be a very handy Greyhound bus that chugged up 395, stopping in all the little towns. I think it hit Lone Pine at about 10:30 p.m. and got into Bishop an hour or so later. 

There also used to be a great little barber shop in Lone Pine, called Kirk’s . . . You could go in there all dirty and scruffy and without complaint, Kirk would give your smelly carcass a shave and haircut and then, he had the $5 showers in the back––walk out of there feeling great and new and still have a good night ahead of you before catching the bus.

Sadly, greyhound stopped doing 395 around 1998 . . . probably got tired of shuffling drunks and kids from the hell-hole of L.A., to the end of the line, in Reno. 

And even sadder, was the passing of Kirk, the barber. His Shop was one of those cozy places full of pictures on the walls and magazines all about and he seemed to be a beacon of happy gossip and history. 

I think it was JMT #3 or #4 when I was once again, with my buddy, Gio, and we were a few days from finished and met two young girls near Charlotte Lake. 

As is my custom––if you were laying on the ground, bleeding profusely, leg broken and so on, I’d probably, first thing, ask you where you were from . . . so I asked these girls and they said, Lone Pine and both Gio and I got a big smile and I proceeded to tell them that I couldn’t wait to get there to see Kirk and get a haircut and shave. 

And with a little sigh, the girls told me that Kirk had died––gone and crashed his little plane in the mountains and that maybe he was flying drunk  . . . well, that was just sad and all that remains is a bit of the lettering on the facade of the place. Here’s to you, Kirk. 

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