Jackrabbit Hikes: PCT Day 21-23
Day 21 – Tent Site (mi 317.3) to Tent Site (mi
So I think everyone got a little wet last night.
One thing about pitching your tent on the PCT is that you absolutely need to put big stones on your tent stakes. In the desert, the sediment is often sand and very loose and conditions are always windy. As I set up in the dark last night, the last thing I did was grab some stones from the nearby river bed.
A few people didn’t grab rocks and they definitely regretted it.
We all packed up our wet things and headed north towards Silverwood Lake. Me and Graham walked all morning together talking about our lives; the miles flew by.
Silverwood Lake was amazingly scenic. Similar to Big Bear Lake in views, the water was deep and cold with a crystal blue. The residual clouds from the storm parted over the large body of water, keeping us in the sun. We spread out wet shit out everywhere and laid on the sandy beach for a few hours. I even went for a dip in the freezing water. Don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon, so why not?
It was a fantastic, cozy day. We roped in and out of ridges and the sky was covered in massive clouds. I’m usually partial to the sun but at low elevation the clouds keep the temperature a bit lower.
Everyone trickled into camp as we sat around in a circle. Its hilarious how curious everyone is about everyone else’s dinner.
“Ooo, whatcha cookin’?”
“Hey, what’re you adding into there??”
Everyone is taking mental notes of better combinations and really I think everyone is just so hungry they can’t help but keep their attention on any nearby food.
I think Hungry Eyes was written about different circumstances but damn it applies to hikers cooking in a circle.
Day 22 – Tent Site (mi 335.6) to Tent Site (mi 353.6)
McDonald’s. On. The. Mind.
Cajon Pass was the next stop and it didn’t have much to offer to a normal person. But to a hiker, it’s a full size pit-stop. A McDonald’s and a gas station, a meal and a resupply! And if you’re truly hiker trash, you can just go ahead and resupply at the McDonald’s.
We all scrambled the <10mi to the pass and tried to make it to breakfast. Mission: success. We piled inside despite their lack of seating. They hadn’t put the chairs back in since COVID policy so we all sat on the floor and ate our breakfast. Like a group of stray dogs, we huddled in the corner and devoured our breakfasts. We refilled our soft drinks over and over and debated the best deals dollar for dollar.
The staff was friendly and let us air out our tents and bags on the fence surrounding it. It was extremely hiker trash and I would not have had it any other way.
We made our way up the mountain and got around half of the total climb done. We were high on the green ridge line looking out across California. Me Graham and Kim gazed out. The sun set behind us casting long shadows of the world in front of us. I pulled out a Big Mac I packed out and split it with Kim and she popped open a small box of gas-station boxed wine.
We watched the cars far down in the valley below travel in and out of the city lights we saw further out. Like arteries in our body, one side of the interstate carried white lights out of the city while the other side poured red lights back into the beating heart. The city certainly looked much more alive than our tiny corner of a mountain.
A cold Big Mac and cheap wine is not appealing to most but that was the most luxurious meal I’ve shared at camp yet. And with a view. Vacation on a vacation.
Day 23 – Tent Site (mi 353.6) to Inspiration Point/Wrightwood (mi 369.3)
Happy to get to town. One of my top priorities this time around is to not spend so much money. Nothing in California is cheap.
Wrightwood was great and a few of us bunked up in an Airbnb. I resupplied at Jensen’s and made my way to the Airbnb with plans not to leave again.
Slowly everyone piled in and we all got together for another community dinner. Keeper is a private chef and was out at the helm of the dinner ship. I tried my best to help by cutting up some veggies but Keeper was so much more experienced in the kitchen I felt like a kid helping their parent. I got out of the way when I was done and Keeper worked her magic.
Per usual, I learned something today. How to make proper street tacos because DAMN. If the Big Mac and wine was the best meal I had at camp, the street tacos and a tall Voodoo Ranger IPA is one of the best meals I’ve had in town. Big eats the last two days.
A full belly of food with actual nutrition and a nice bed was all I needed. But, as always, the trail provides and our awesome Airbnb host Arlene even provided a free box of Girl Scour cookies. Thin Mints was the democratic choice. Naturally.
Life is good today.
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