Miles hiked this section: 37
PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 349
Miles hiked so far: 2262 ish
Happy Birthday Twinless!! She is still about 10 miles back, so we leave her an orange Gatorade and vodka airplane bottle at the intersection of a dirt road – trail screwdriver! She will probably get it 10 miles into her day and right in the middle of a waterless stretch.
Bug really wants to hike today so we set up a relay. We are walking alongside paved road 2… For the next 20 miles or so. The PCT crosses this road every 2-6 miles… So we agree to take turns driving the car so Bug can walk. I take the first shift driving 15 minutes down from the dirt road to the first intersection with 2. It skips 4 miles of trail, so after blogging a bit in the car, I hike 20 minutes or so back up the trail to meet the gang and returning to the car for more snacks and water.
We continue in this fashion all day, leaving magic for Twinless, and slack packing easy miles.
We run into a trail closure for the endangered yellow legged frog. The detour intersects with the beautiful Cooper Canyon Creek. Our first cold, running water in days that didn’t come from a cache or spigot. We detour up to the Burkhart camp and then ride back about seven miles to wait for Twinless. We estimate she and future dad will emerge around 4pm but we get there early just in case. We are planning to kidnap her from the trail and get a hotel in the nearby town of Wrightwood tonight. We wait and nap and Groucho and I eat all our snacks. At 5pm she’s still not here. We use the trail magic to gauge where she is. She must be less than 4 miles back because she’s already retrieved the magic left at the last crossing. We worry she will play it casual today and do fewer miles so Huck jogs back to make sure they aren’t camped early tonight.
By 6pm they are back at the car having almost been abducted by overly generous men at a camp for dads bearing brownies and pomegranate seeds.
We hop in the car and drive 20 miles down the forest road. On the way we pass a landslide that has partially seeped on the road. We get to the very bottom… Just 10 miles from wrightwood… and there is a closed and very locked gate. We cannot go further. And without maps or cell service we do not know another way to town. There is no sign giving detour info. We sadly pile back in the car and decide to head back to the camp we wandered thru earlier. There was a large shelter set up over a picnic table and a cooler that looked like it was old trail magic… Just containing hand sanitizer. This looks like a spot they sometimes stash thru hikers. We drive they the camp ground and all of the 30 spots are filled with holiday weekend campers… Except the site with the canvas shelter. So we explode our packs, and our friends share various snacks with us since we didn’t make it to the grocery and are totally out of food. We set up cowboy-style and are nearly snoozing when we are kicked out of camp at 9pm by a grumpy fellow who claims he has paid for this site. We apologize and explain we thought it was a PCT site since it had the look of a backpackers site. He just gets mad at our apologies and says “oh common!” We silently pack up and are gone in 5 minutes. As we leave he shouts back “and take this tent and this other stuff with you” pulling at the shelter over the picnic table and the magic cooler. We explain it’s not ours and is precisely why we made the mistake thinking we could camp here. But he’s not having it… Clearly determined to think of us as jerky liar pantses. We try not to take it all personally and get out — camping a mile up the road in a spacious pull out.
Today someone asks how long we’ve been dating and I realize it’s Groucho and my make-out-versary… We first kissed 4 years ago this day. It’s a sweet memory and we hike together … day dreaming about future adventures.
We climb and summit Baden Powell around 1pm. There are a million day hikers on this holiday weekend. A bus full of Boy Scouts. It’s strange after having the trail mostly to ourselves the last couple weeks.
Around 4pm we near the end and Future Dad wants a photo with epic clouds behind him. FD is all about the epic photos. He leaps over a rock and screams, leaping back immediately to avoid an immense Rattle snake. “This one eats rabbits or something” says FutureDad.
Huck shuttles us to Mile High Pizza in Wrightwood by 6pm. We eat, charge, and go to the grocery. Twinless, who has lost 25 lbs on this trip and is endlessly hungry finally consults Bug on her resupply. Bug is a masters-trained dietitian, studying for her final certification exam. She also eats and advocates a plant-based diet, which makes our team even-steven—three carnivores and three vegans. Bug shakes down Twinless’ snack pack and encourages her to get plainwhole rolled oats and brown sugar instead of instant oats; peanut butter and jelly on sprouted whole wheat, multigrain bread instead of white bread bagels; And no snickers or rice crispie treats … Instead… energy bars; Also no ritz crackers…Instead wheat thins. Twinless reports tomorrow that she can now go 2.5 hours or more between snacks instead of just 2 hours. Maybe there’s something to this whole “nutrients” concept.
As we all pack up, a local business owner offers to let us camp out on the porch but there are too many lights on. At 9pm we drive back up the hill to camp at another car pull out.