Road Walks, Kangaroo Mice, and Summits – Days 21-24
Mileage: 342.0 to 351.9
We woke up astonishingly late in such a cozy bed and after a late night. Footloose was awake as well and we all walked to the pastry shop in town (which was scrumptious) and then stopped at Trader Joe’s for some exciting goodies you can’t usually get from trail towns. Then we said our goodbyes as Footloose took a zero; we will hopefully see her again soon!
We had the most fun Uber driver take us back to Cajon Pass. She had lived in the area her whole life but had never heard of the trail. We had fun telling her all about life in a tent and next thing we knew we were back at the McDonald’s. We hurried inside and were met by 15 other hikers! It was a reunion and a meet-and-greet with many folks we had met or at least seen, along with several new faces. We all chowed down and were even given free desserts from the manager. It was one heck of a good time.
We finally left the fun of McDonald’s around 4 p.m. (where did the day go?) and had decided on a short ten-mile hike. The hike was completely uphill but we had a nice breeze and the sun was slowly sinking away. We were having fun and taking photos and even saw a tarantula! That was one of the scarier creepy crawlies either of us have really seen. You should have seen it crawl away. Gives me the heebie jeebies!
We arrived to our tent site in the dark and set up camp while a kangaroo mouse watched from afar.
It was a fun day but these late nights were definitely getting to us. We needed to get back on schedule.
Mileage: 351.9 to 369.4
It is once again town day. We had a little longer stroll in but our plans of arriving by lunch pretty much worked out. It was a long, slogging uphill type of day though it was all really beautiful.
At about 1 p.m. we made it to the road that would take us into Wrightwood (five miles away), and no sooner than we stuck out our thumbs did we get picked up. We got into town and headed straight for the hardware store,, which we had heard they would hold all of our gear while we walked around town. We then went to the market to pick up our free hot dog, which we ate very exuberantly as we walked to the Grizzly Cafe for a real lunch with hiker discounts. (If you can’t tell already, this town caters to us hikers and made us feel like family. Everyone we met was beyond generous.) During all of this excitement we had a little mishap and Kelsey’s wallet went missing. We also lost (and found) a phone earlier in the week. YIKES! The wallet was found after the owner of the market helped us go through all of his security footage (like I said, amazingly helpful and kind folks in this town) to narrow down where it could be. It had fallen out of Cody’s pocket in the restaurant when he had dug in his pockets to give it to me. Anyway, it was found and all was well again in the world.
We headed over to do our shopping and while sitting outside the grocery we were asked to watch a man’s dog and gladly accepted. This was as close to having a trail dog as we will get. (For now, anyway.) The grocery store had several containers of free supplies for hikers (supplies included Clif bars, deodorant, and peanuts just to name a few.)
We went for margaritas with three other hikers and then Twister, one of our new trail friends, told us about the place he was staying and we decided to join him. Bear With Us Lodge was awesome! It had everything we needed and was the coolest little place.
After showering/washing our clothes (in the shower) we headed to dinner and the brewery. Twister was a lot of fun and we enjoyed his company. It was a whirlwind of events and fun and even a nice little scare. Wrightwood has been an easy choice for being our favorite town so far. Not only was all of the food magnificent everywhere, but all of the little stores we stopped in were full of people more than willing to help us. It was so fun to meet so many kind people who were so interested in how our journey has been going. It was an awesome little town and we won’t soon be forgetting it.
Mileage: 369.4 to 386.1
We woke up in our wonderful little cabin after great night’s sleep and started to sort out all of our food (I wish I had a photo of all of the food from this resupply). We found upon sorting that I had gotten WAY too much… never shop while hungry. This would be a good change, though, because I did not have enough food; the hiker hunger has officially settled in and we’re both finding we need a little more energy in our systems. After setting up our food we went to the Evergreen Cafe for a delicious breakfast and then started getting our things together.
On our first try we got a hitch from a local realtor heading to an open house. We’ve been amazed at how quickly we can get rides; so many nice people!
Back on the trail we started hiking around 11 a.m. with a plan of getting almost 17 miles. The first push was up a bazillion beautiful switchbacks to summit Mount Baden Powell.
We summited to beautiful views and very little snow that made for nice snacks. It was a very different mountaintop than Mount San Jacinto; it was very bare and bald looking. San Jacinto was very rocky and snow covered still. Anyway, it was gorgeous!
We expected to begin hiking downhill but were surprised to find we were still hiking up the ridgelines. We finally started heading downhill as the sun was beginning to get lower and got to Little Jimmy Spring for some of the best water we’ve found on trail yet. It was ICE COLD!
We rolled into camp (aka a parking lot with a nice hidden tent site) and started cooking dinner while the mosquitoes started feasting on us. A really nice guy who was finishing up his hike gave us a large coffee cake, which we will enjoy for breakfast tomorrow. The moon was absolutely beautiful for the few moments we stayed out to look at it. We had to run and hide in the tent to escape the literal swarm of hungry little bloodsuckers.
Mileage: 386.1 to 406.5
We woke up to more mosquitoes but quite enjoyed our coffee cake for breakfast. We continued uphill much to our surprise (we thought we would start going down after Baden Powell but I guess not!).
Then we came to the infamous road walk designed to save the yellow legged frogs by keeping us out of their habitat. A five-mile walk down a winding but beautiful road.
Next thing we knew we had hiked 14 miles and hit the 400-mile marker! This was the neatest marker yet, lined in pine cones to form a heart. How cute.
After this wonderful milestone we ran into some new friends, one of who was in Kelsey’s AT class of 2016 (What’s up, Honeybuns!). We all enjoyed chatting and drinking from a pretty good spring and then we said our goodbyes and hiked about .1 around the corner to our tent site. There we ate dinner (we’ve begun adding peanut butter to spicy ramen to create our own quasi pad thai) and were in the tent ready for bed at 7:30! OMG, it was amazing! We loved lying in the tent ready for bed so early but we hated hearing all of the other hikers walk by us continuing until dark. We felt like slackers until we remembered we already did 20 miles. And also, who cares what everybody else is doing. Hike your own hike!
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.