I guess I could say I had my ups and downs in this section. I’m starting to finally recover from my ankle issue and blisters are now a non-issue. I’m fully comfortable with my equipment and have struck a sane balance with my GPS project. I’ve also met a lot of great new people who I’m now sharing trail tread and campsites with.
I’ve had a couple of too-hard days in the past week as well as some enjoyably easy ones. Two nights ago, camped just barely above the clouds on a high ridge in the San Gabriel Mountains, I figured my next few weeks. Most people are starting to push it but I’m not going to. They’re throwing 25-30 milers down. My guestimation is that if I keep doing “20s” I’ll hit the Sierra far too early. There’s only three more opportunities for zero mile days and I don’t feel like killing huge amounts of time at any of them. I’m a little over half way to the Sierra already. So, I’m excited about slowing down and mixing more 15-18 mile days into my schedule.
Some of the notable events and places of the past week include:
– Deep Creek. This desert watercourse pretty nearly qualified as a river in my book. The flow was substantial and it winds through deep canyons further shaded by large trees. It even has some stellar hot springs which had gathered about 25 hikers. The Deep Creek canyon is sadly the sight of a PCT hiker death a week or so ago. No Way Ray fell somewhere before the hotsprings. It was very easy to see how this could have happened because the trail is in trecherous shape. It’s an absolute shame that public lands are so underfunded as to make high use trails (like the PCT at Deep Creek) deadly. Sections of this trail are falling away and Ray likely won’t be the last to slip to his death if this trail isn’t fixed. There are also some short sections right before Wrightwood that are similarly falling away.
– I pulled in to Silverwood Lake after a long haul from the hot springs only to be shafted by the camping situation. Ok, I was dead tired and grumpy. But why on earth is the hike/bike campsite the absolute farthest away? We’re WALKING there. Thanks. Oh, and your bathrooms are the most disgusting I’ve seen in at least five years. I was at least glad to use a cell phone to call home. I had been worried about family for the few days previous it was a relief to make contact.
– If I keep it up, I might just develop a reputation for laziness. But it was with good reason this time. Cajon Pass is somewhat of a landmark point on the PCT and all that is there besides a busy freeway is a McDonalds. Incredibly, there is even an official PCT sign pointing out “McDonalds 0.3 miles ->”. So sitting in McDonals with a bunch of other hikers, shaking the dirt out of our shoes and spilling our water bottles on the floor, the weather report was passed around. Big rain and wind with possible snow was called for. Hotel! I say! And I won. We spent a great afternoon and night in the Best Western being fair weather hikers. Oh so nice.
– The people of Wrightwood are amazing. I’m currently staying with being overfed by an imensely kind woman and her family. There are about seven of us here and we’re being completely provided for. Thank you! Within a half an hour in town I had been showered with good vibes. A lady gave me water and a Wrightwood, CA souvenier pencil, I had many nice comments directed my way, a couple of nice conversations and was served an side of coleslaw that was so overflowing it required an extra plate. Thanks!
Next is on to Agua Dulce, the real Mojave and more trail stink. Lovin’ it!