Day 20 | mile 369.3 - 395.2
Woke up at 5 at the trail angel’s house. A little disoriented at first. Radar took the floor like the gentleman that he is. It looked like he slept poorly. His inflatable sleeping pad was to the side of him and he was just on his 1/8 inch pad. I slept great.
Got up to get my phone to see if the bakery was open. The trail angel said we could use his bikes, so I thought I’d bike 1.5 miles into town to get bagel sandwiches. It was open. But just as I got ready to go, Cynthia (the trail angel) offered her gas stove, the cast iron pan, some eggs, and coffee. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I made a breakfast burrito for myself. And a coffee with nesquik and whipped cream. It was really good. There were eggs that didn’t fit into the burrito and I was going to eat them. But then Radar got up and I felt bad eating everything. He ate the rest of the eggs.
Radar accidentally let the dogs loose when he went to the garage. They got all of them back after a while.
Finally got out at 8:00. Hal drove us back to the trail and we took off. It was 4 easy miles to the base of Mt. Baden-Powell. We each went to the bathroom and I told Radar not to wait for me. He took off and I followed several minutes later.
It’s a 4 mile climb. I reached the stream half way up, but I was pretty good on water, so I decided to keep going instead of taking the side trail to the stream. And I figured Radar had already gotten water and moved on.
Kept climbing and saw this guy with his 3.5 year old son in his backpack. I was very intrigued, so I pushed to catch up to him. Turns out they are doing Mt. Whitney next month! So cool.
Finally reached the top and it was glorious. Beautiful views, the flag. Everything just how I imagined it, but better. It’s so neat to see places you’ve seen photographed in person.
Took a few pictures and rolled out my sleeping pad to take a break. I ate a blueberry muffin and my summit apple. Worth the weight.
30-ish minutes later, Radar rolled in. I guess he was at the water longer than I thought.
We sat around and chatted with the dad and his son Micah, and a Swiss through hiker - Mark.
We set sights on a camp 20-ish miles away and started hiking again.
The views were incredible. Death Valley on one side, mountains on the other. I’m slower on downhills, the guys took off. It was after 12 anyway, so I could listen to Ready Player One.
Reached the next water source at 1:30. Little Jimmy Spring. It was a steep downhill to get there. That’s where Radar and Mark were. I wasn’t hungry, so I filled up and kept going. The steep uphill back to the trail with full water bottles killed my calves.
Speaking of water! I figured out how to get water bottles out of my side backpack pockets, so I don’t need to replace the water clip I lost in the car yesterday. YAY!
I listened to Ready Player One some more. The trail seemed to have steeper uphills and downhills after Baden-Powell. Or maybe I was just more tired after Baden-Powell. I sat down to rest at the top of the last big climb. After 20-ish minutes, Mark and Radar came up. We descended together, but Mark’s leg was hurting and he wanted to camp soon. He took the next available spot.
The weather was perfect today. Not too warm, not too cold, not too windy. Passes had names like Windy Gap and those were windy, of course. But it was easy enough to get out of the wind, just climb down a bit.
6-ish miles before the campsite, there was a trail closure due to some endangered yellow-legged frog. The re-route was on the road. Blehhhh. It seemed like we were on the road forever. There were maybe 5-6 cars that passed us in the 3 miles we were on the highway. Not too bad. Then the re-route took us on a campground road and we passed some car camping spots. That turned into a trail that connected back to the PCT. It was nice.
0.8 miles before the campsite, my hip belt started chafing against my back. So, I took a break and told Radar I’d catch up with him. I didn’t want chafing to get worse. For the last 0.8 miles, I unbuckled my hip belt and put my poles between my back and backpack. That felt a lot better.
Once I got to the campground, I saw a fire everyone was sitting by and bee-lined there. There were 5 through hikers sitting around. They had all had dinner. They were like, “you came from Wrightwood??? That’s impossible. It took us 2 days to get here from wrightwood.” Radar was regaling them with tales of his valor. Hahaha.
I made dinner and sat down by the fire. Sitting and staring at fire is one of my favorite things. I had pasta-roni with lemon tuna packet. I’m so full. Gummy candy for dessert. Everyone has gone to bed, I’m the only one up sitting by the coals. About to put them out and get into my bag.
Should be easy terrain tomorrow! Planning for big miles.
P.S. The PCT has been running alongside this Silver Moccasin Trail. It has a really cute blaze. I asked Radar if he knew anything about it, and he told me the legend of moccasin goalie. The hockey goalie who was really good but couldn’t skate, so he wore moccasins. Radar is Canadian alright.
P.P.S. Radar is a habs fan.