Day #18 – May 3rd: I took my first 0 mile day today and only left my bed at the Best Western a few times…for the complimentary breakfast (of which I ate a RIDICULOUS amount), to go down the street and get tacos, to shower, and to repack my backpack. I’ll hit up the breakfast again in the morning and hope to be on the trail around 6:30 am. 22.1 miles to the next water source!
Day #19 – May 4th: I grudgingly left the Best Western at Cajon Pass (CA-HONE, not CAJUN I learned haha), nothing but uphill from here on out until my destination of Guffy Campground where there is water and an alpine camping area. The first part of my day was filled with scrub brush and large lizards. I had to walk a road to bypass the dreaded poodle-dog bush (you can read more about it here) It thrives in areas that have been burnt by forest fire, and there was a fire in this area in 2009. After that, the landscape slowly turned into pine trees and it reminds me of Eastern Washington. I hiked the 22 miles in record time and was in my sleeping bag by 6:30pm!
My camp area at Guffy Campground
Day #20 – May 5th: A windy night blew in dust that covered everything in my tent with a fine film. Earlier in the night my tent was brought down by a big gust of wind…I had a good chuckle about it and then went back to bed. I spent a good portion of the morning walking under chairlifts and meandering along ski runs. I came to a water spigot near a Park Ranger information building when out of no where i was bombarded by a group of elementary students on a field trip. I gave a spur of the moment, not-so-informational speech about the trail and what it’s all about. I didn’t realize until some other hikers pointed out later that the dust from the night before had also settled on ME and had turned into a mud mask. I probably frightened those poor children…Anyway, after that I climbed to the top of Mt. Baden-Powell and then pushed on to the endangered yellow frog detour at Eagles Roost. Things are finally starting to click and I’m starting to feel stronger every day. My feet are healing and my hip wounds are nothing but little pink scars now.
(From the Pacific Crest Trail Association Website: “The once thriving Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog is now nearly extinct. To protect the frog, the PCT has been closed for several years from Eagles Roost [mile 390.3] to the Burkhart trail junction [mile 394]. In 2011 the PCTA created a new official detour that avoids any highway road walking.)
Hiking in the ski area
At the top of Mount Baden-Powell
Day #21 – May 6th: After stealth camping at eagle roost I got a late start in hopes of hitching a ride for the freeway portion of the detour. With only one car passing by the whole time I ended up walking the whole thing. The next water source was at a Boy Scout camp, but earlier reports stated the it was turned off. To my relief the water was on put tasted of rust and left a film on my tongue. I sat under the deck awning and had lunch and was joined by Banana Boat and Chris who had gotten a hitch for the whole detour. Later that night a realized I left my spoon there. All hope was lost. I also got hailed on in a crazy hail storm!
Boy Scout Camp and the crazy hail storm!
Day #22 – May 7th: Sooo…the poodle dog bush got me. My face is swollen and my hands are covered in a rash. Doesn’t feel great. But today I hiked to a KOA a little ways off the trail outside of Acton, CA and luckily my doctor had sent me on my journey with some ointment just in case I wandered in to some poodle dog bush or poison oak. So that helped a lot! From the KOA I got a ride into Acton and explored the town and then to get back to the KOA I ordered Chinese food to be delivered there from Acton and just hitched a ride with the delivery guy! haha! At first he said he couldn’t do that, but called back and said he could…so funny.
Day #23 – May 8th: From the KOA I hiked 10 miles to The Saufley’s house. There I will stay tonight and tomorrow night to give my feet and shins a little rest. My next stop is about a two day hike away before I start a brutal 9 day stretch with no water available…so I’ll be carrying enough food and water for 9 days on my back through the Mojave Desert, which I hear will be having some crazy weather…50mph winds and over 100 degree temps! WOO HOO! 🙂