Back on Track After Brief Recovery From an Injury
Days 28 to 44 (17 days)
Cajon Pass to Acton KOA, Calif.
Miles 342 to 444.3 (102.3 hiked)
Kilometers 550.4 to 715 (164.6 hiked)
Seven zeros (five spent in convalescence)
I only made it five miles out of Cajon Pass when I moved wrong and my lower back cramped up. I caught a ride to Wrightwood to pick up my packages (food resupply and my Osprey pack) and figure out what to do next. I ended up going to my friends’ place in Los Angeles, where I watched a lot of Netflix from the gigantic couch. After a few days, I decided to head back to Wrightwood to be back near the action.
Thankfully, Wrightwood is a super hiker-friendly town and I quickly had a place to stay. I’ve never felt so welcome in a complete stranger’s home. I wasn’t in the door a minute when my host handed me a glass of wine, and the next thing I knew we were chatting like old friends. That’s how it is on this trail. So many generous people.
I left Wrightwood and did the short section I missed, backward or SOBO. I met so many hikers, I thought I might have hit a bubble, but no, it was just the normal NOBO flow.
Many of my trail friends had gone on, but a couple — one injured and one ill — were also in Wrightwood. When I got back from my short section hike, I was sad to learn they were both gone. One to LA to recover and one off trail completely. So I spent one more night in Wrightwood and decided it was finally time to move on. I went on alone, but it didn’t take long to meet new people and make new friends. That’s how it is on this trail. Everyone’s in it together.
On Mother’s Day, I thought a lot about my mom, who passed away when I was only 16, and wondered what she would think of me now. That day I passed the 600-kilometer mark and summited Mt. Baden-Powell. I might have cried a little at the top. That’s how it is on this trail. It will sometimes bring tears to your eyes.
Many miles later, I finally walked into the Acton KOA. After seven days of hiking, it was time for another zero. My LA friends graciously drove out to get me and take me for some off-trail food. We also made a couple of stops at the big box stores that will soon be unavailable. They dropped me off with my full belly and goodies, and I crawled into my tent for one of my best sleeps ever, even with the trains going by.
Today was for laundry, more resupply and a swim. It’s not over yet, though, as my new trail friends have invited me for a barbecue and wine. Because that’s how it is on this trail.
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