Wrightwood to Agua Dulce
Wrightwood is a small town north of Cajon Pass with a population of only 4525. Despite the small size, it is a BIG hiker town. Within minutes of hitting the road I had a hitch into town and was grubbing my free gravy and biscuits at the Wrightwood Market. I decided a nero and a zero were in order and the Bud Pharm was the place to do it. While there, I met up with several hikers I hadn’t seen in weeks and we all pooled our money together so we could feast later on that evening. After a brief shopping trip and lots of recreational activities, we feasted on london broil, baked potatoes, and salad. There was enough to feed the 8 of us and all the rest of the hikers that had shown up. After a day and a half off, I was ready to hit the trail running. The running didn’t last very long.
I got back on the trail in the late afternoon and ended up only doing about 10 miles. I camped about 1.2 miles from the top of Mt. Baden Powell with my buddy Nyle and we caught an absolutely amazing sunset. After polishing off our rice sides and tuna packets, we retired to our tents. When I emerged in the morning, the mountain was covered in snow. It was brisk but clear morning and I was looking forward to getting in some big miles. It didn’t work out that way. Within a half hour of starting to hike clouds rolled in and it was once again snowing. I reached the top of Baden Powell (9406 ft) and there wasn’t much to see besides clouds. I only made it another 8 miles before deciding that I was cold, wet, and ready to call it an early one.
The following day was another short one. I can cruise pretty quickly through the desert but when it comes to anything with higher elevations, my years as a cigarette smoker begin to haunt me. Don’t ever smoke. It’s stupid. While it was a short day, It was mostly downhill and it gave my lungs a chance to recover.
I’ve been going intentionally slow while I wait for the snow melt in the Sierra. There’s no need to rush to Kennedy Meadows so that I can wait for weeks to be able to pass through the Sierra safely. I’ve been taking neroes, zeroes, and hiking lazily in an attempt to stall my arrival. After that last slow day of hiking, I completed 58 miles in 3 days. The third day I hiked 18 miles before 2pm. My trail legs are now solid. They’re friggin tree trunks.
The PCT has been amazing thus far. One day you’ll be in the high desert sweating to death, the following day you’re 9000 feet up and hiking through snow. I find myself both praising and cursing the switchbacks everyday. Sometimes they make sense and other times you’ll literally go in circles. Regardless, I’m truly thankful for all the work the PCTA and volunteers do on the trail. It’s in great shape and for the most part it’s easy walking. The hardest thing to deal with out here is the temperatures, the UV rays, and the water. Don’t get me wrong there is a LOT of water this year, but when it’s hot you drink more which equals heavier water carries. Luckily, the weight I’ve lost thus far balances out the extra water I have to carry. I’ve lost 12 lbs . 🙂
Only two blisters. I have to thank my tried and true foot system for that. Injinji sock liners with Darn tough socks are the winning combination for me. Add in Altra Lone Peak 3’s and currexSole insoles, and I can walk all day every day. I now have over 500 miles on my Altras and think I may be able to squeeze another 200 miles out of them. I couldn’t be happier with my footwear choices.
We’ve managed to raise over $400 dollars for The Optic Neuritis Foundation! Check the link below and share it please! The goal is to raise one dollar for every mile I hike. We’re behind so share share share!
I’ve been making videos as I complete ech lil section. Check out the link to my YouTube channel below to watch my adventures.
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