Friday, April 21 — day 26

LPCT mile 364.35 to 369.40
Today I ease into a Nero (near-zero) day followed by a full Zero day!  I also slept today just to extend the luxury!  I’m so easy to please these days!

I took one last look at Mt Baldy– another peak I wanted to bag, but this time it was water concerns and schedule that prevented me from capturing it.

I hiked the ridge towards Hwy 2 and saw the desert to the northeast — are those ancient pyramids or cinder cones off in the distance? 🙂

I was surprised by how much snow was still up here.  Each patch was almost, but not quite large/long enough for me to put my microspikes on, but I didn’t…  I did slip once, right on my butt — probably should have put on those spikes…

The trail took me to the top of the Mountain High Ski area in Wrightwood

And then the trail gave me a view of Mt Baldy to the left and Mt Baden-Powell (my next conquest) to the right.

The trail led me down to Hwy 2 where I hoped to hitch a ride the 5 miles to Wrightwood.  I picked my spot carefully — clearly visible with enough reaction time room for a charitable and cheerful driver to pull out and offer me a ride.  I shed my smelly shirt and donned my cleanest one, and even covered that one with my bright red down jacket for maximum visibility and minimal smell factor.  I removed my sweat stained hat and sun gloves to make me look like a simple, harmless but needy hiker.  I was ready to proffer my thumb to any car that came by.  In the first 45 minutes about 5 cars did — all heading out of Wrightwood.  Nobody headed in.  One car pulled into the Rest Area and trailhead then parked.  The owner then got out, donned his jacket and pack and was about to head up the trail I came down, but stopped to chat.  He asked how I was doing and how long I had been waiting.  When I replied that it was a bit slow he told me “What the heck , town is just a few minutes away and I’ll  give you a ride and then drive back up to hike — I’ve got all day”.  We call this Trail Magic and truly great people!

Not only did I I get a ride to town but I got a recommendation to a fantastic breakfast place, the Evergreen Cafe.  Huge breakfast and great service abject free wifi– it does not get much better than that!

I spent the morning digesting my breakfast and posting blogs.  Liz arrived just after noon and we got caught up on things and visited a few stores.  Abi (nee Earl) showed up — she was able to change her trail from the prey ( the goat) to the predator and now she is “Rex”.  Her dad flew down from Portland and will be joining her for the trail 100 miles.

I showered and eased clothes and changed into non hiking clothes– nice!  Here’s a pic of Liz and me

Liz and I had birthday celebrations opening presents and eating German Chocolate Cake.  I now have a new stove that weighs like 25 grams — yay, less weight to carry!  

I also have a pair of larger shoes — my feet have either swollen or flattened to the extent that my normal sized shoes are too small.  This is common and long distance hikers point this out often, but it has not happened to me on the last two long trips I did.  My toes started feeling cramps the day I left Big Bear and today I was hiking with the laces as loose as possible.  Maybe that’s also why I slipped in the snow…

So now, we’re sitting in our hotel room blogging and relaxing.  Tomorrow, we’ll visit the local Cinnamon roll shop, bop out to the REI In Ranch Cucamonga for a titanium cook pot (for my new stove), visit the local museum, and then who knows — pizza with the PCT hikers in town?

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Friday, April 21 — day 26”

  1. Hi, Dale. I have enjoyed your posts so much. What a marvelous experience and the pictures are beautiful. Love to you and Liz.


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