Pacific Crest Trail Quest '08 - Page 5
I left the road and returned to the trail after a long two hour walk this morning. Today's hike
was very pretty. The trail followed a good sized stream all day, and there was plenty of
shade under the big cottonwoods.
I'm starting to catch up to a lot of hikers. I started late, so I'm just starting to catch the slow
ones. I passed about a dozen people today. A few of them were in really bad shape and
could hardly walk. I also passed quite a few that didn't know much about wilderness
hygiene. You're going to get dirty out here, but you don't have to be a slob.
The highlight of my day was soaking my feet in a natural hot spring along the trail, then
swimming in the cool waters of the creek. There were two free spirited girls sharing the
hot springs with me, and they were as naked as the day they were born. Hiking is great!
It's almost 9:00 at night and a hiker just limped into my camp and asked for water. He
was about 50 years old and barely able to walk. I gave him half a liter, but can't feel very
sorry for him. He crossed a creek two miles ago, and has 10 miles to the next one. He
should have gotten water then.
I was excited to get going this morning since my map said there was a café at silverwood
Lake 15 miles down the trail. The walking was easy and mostly downhill. I made it to the
lake at 11:30. My hamburger fantasics were ruined when I realized the café was on the
other side of the lake and it would be a four mile side trip to get there. I cooked instant
After lunch, I ran into the guy who wanted water from me last night. He said, Boy! It sure
took you a long time to catch up. What time do you get up in the morning?
I told him, I usually hit the trail around 7:30.
Wow! You sure like to sleep in. I'm on the trail by 4:30 every morning.
I said, It must be dark.
I have my headlamp.
Then he told me my tent looked awfully big, and asked how much it weighed. I told him I'd
never really had a reason to weigh it.
He told me his tent weighed 1.2 pounds, and that he had the best water filter ever made,
which was much safer than treating water like I was.
I told him I'd love to see all his gear at the campsite 18 miles down the trail. It's 9:00 now
and he hasn't showed up yet. I'm really surprised that with all his fancy gear and 14 hour
hiking days that he couldn't make it 33 miles like I did. I slept in and have a heavy tent.
I woke up to a low dense fog. As I climbed higher and higher, the fog grew thicker until it
turned into rain. I don't have any rain gear with me, so I wrapped the rain fly for my tent
around my pack and kept walking. The rain quit after about an hour.
The weather stayed cool and cloudy, but I didn't care. I was headed for the high country.
Soon, the desert scrub gave way to tall pines and endless views, but the higher I climbed,
the colder it got. It started to snow about 1:00 pm.
I trekked on through the snow until I reached the side trail that led to the small town of
Wrightwood. I descended 2000 feet into town where the first order of business was
something to eat. I ordered a chicken fried steak at a café which was not only delicious,
but enormous. It really hit the spot!
I ended up getting a crappy hotel room for $60. I really didn't want to waste money on a
room, but I need to get mail tomorrow and it's snowing.
I hiked through some of the prettiest trail yet this afternoon. The trail went along a cliff with a
1500 foot drop off, then into a steep canyon with a pretty stream flowing through it. The
canyon ended at I-15, where there was a McDonald's half a mile up the road. The food was
as awful as I remember, but it felt good to eat some serious calories. I also managed to
acquire 6 liters of Powerade from the pop machine for my 23 mile waterless hike tomorrow.
From I-15 the trail climbed past busy railroad tracks into hills covered in giant pink
boulders. I'm camped high on a ridge where there should be a great view of the sunrise in
the morning. It's finally cooled down outside and the weather is perfect for hiking. I hope it
stays that way.