Day 18 | mile 318.0 - 347.2

Whoa. Today was the best day on the trail so far.
Woke up at 5 and started making breakfast. Finally made oatmeal not too soupy. It was perfect.

I dilly dallied for a while, mostly because it’s hard to get out of a warm quilt. Brushed my hair, got a hair out of my toothbrush. Ick. Forced myself to start hiking with just my wind pants and shirt on, no puffy. It was cold, but I got hot fast, even without the puffy.
Today held the promise of McDonald’s! I was a motivated hiker.
Started hiking at 6-ish and called mom. I knew she’d be driving to work. We chatted for a while while I made my way up and over a hill. Once we hung up, I took off my wind gear.

Hiked through some road sections while listening to Ready Player One. Before long I was looking at Silverwood Lake. This guy named Tikki stopped me to talk. That’s when Radar caught up with me.

Both of our bags got condensation, and we made a plan to stop at silverwood picnic area to dry them out. Even though we were in a rush to get to McDonald’s, our precious Katabatic quilts come first.
Picnic area was about 10 miles in and we rolled in just before 10. Radar offered me a Twinkie and I happily ate it. I’m pretty sure it was my first Twinkie. It was good.

Bags dried fast, and people were peeling off to make it to McDonald’s faster. I was the last one to leave (of the McDonald’s crew).

Hiked through some weird sections of the PCT, then started climbing. I enjoyed some awesome views of Silverwood Lake. Until I turned the corner and my jaw dropped. There was a whole new mountainous landscape. Complete with train tracks and highways.

The views were kind of off and on as the trail descended. Then it passed under power lines and blew my mind again. It was so beautiful and the pictures don’t do it any justice.

I was listening to Ready Player One, and thinking about what I’m going to get at McDonald’s.

I was flying. Until the trail just knocked it out of the park with views and I stopped every few seconds to take pictures. The last 1.5 miles were the slowest and prettiest.

Made it to McDonald’s at 4. I bee lined for the fruit cart guy. He sliced up a big container of fruit for me. Watermelon, melon, pineapple, mango, cucumber, jicama. I went into McDonald’s and ate the entire thing. Then ordered a McDouble, large fries, and Oreo McFlurry. And another McDouble. And another McFlurry.

Yea, I was hungry.
Radar got 4 McDoubles and ate them all. I also found out radar’s reddit username and realized I used to read his comments on r/ultralight all the time. He is u/ArcadianBacon

I was pretty high on sugar, and Radar and I decided to hike another 5 miles to the water cache.

The weather was perfect and we hiked fast. Passed under 3 sets of railroad tracks! And 1 on rail crossing. So exciting. There was a train going by as we were under it.
The spot is nice and not as windy. And it’s nice to hear trains in the distance, not right next to you.

No dinner because I ate everything at McDonald’s. Big climb to Wrightwood tomorrow!