Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 36: Wrightwood to Mile 370.8

We checked out of the hotel around 9am after a bunch of stalling. We knew we had the Acorn Trail to climb and the lovely uphill road walk before it, all with 6 days of food on our backs.

We tried to pare down our packs the best we could by getting rid of extra socks, insoles and stuff we were carrying in case our feet got bad again. So far, our feet and legs have been pretty good! I'm about to lose a toenail but I think that from old trauma. It was kind of scary to let those 'what if' things go, but it felt good too. We left them in a makeshift hiker box on a table on our way out.

Josh was not having the road walk and told me he was going to yogi us a ride to the trailhead. I kept walking, thinking no one would give is a ride, but sure enough, Josh approached a man who was already parked and getting out of his car and asked if he could take us to the top of the hill and he said yes! We thanked the man profusely and continued our road walk up the private street before the trail. Josh wasn't having that road walk either and stuck of his thumb to a passing pick up truck. Now, this is kind of a hoity toity neighborhood so when the truck actually stopped I was shocked and delighted! I told Josh I'm going to name him Hitch! We jumped in the back of the truck and the man drove us all the way to the top. We thanked him and pet his cute dog Rocky before we continued up.

The trail was a general pain in the ass, as expected, and we hiked it very slowly taking lots of short stops to stretch and breath so as not to incur new injuries. We're a bit gun shy now having been in pain for so long and now that were not we don't want to go back! When we finally reached the top we plopped down and ate some snacks. A few hikers passed by and we told them not to take that trail! Most did not but there were two girls: Hillary and Angelina that decided to take it down. Angelina's reasoning was "there's a bakery down there and this is the fastest route to it!" Well, I can't argue with that logic at all!

The trail was supposed to be downhill from here in my mind but it wasn't. We climbed steeply up to Guffy Camp where we met a hiker named Boots who was an interesting fellow before we wound our way around the back side of Mountain High Ski Resort going up and down, thru campgrounds, next to private ponds and ski lift areas and all the while the monster mountain Baden Powell was towering over us.

Josh was totally out of gas and became very quiet, (which is his version of cryking I think). I tried to get him to eat or drink an energy supplement but he refused. He just wanted to lay down. If we could have camped we would have but we only had enough water to make it to the next water directly, a choice we made to counter the weight of our giant food bags.

Finally we dropped down to Hwy 2 and crossed it only to head up hill again and Josh was in bad shape. When we arrived at the Grassy Hollow Visitors Center we sat down and exploded our packs, as we always do when get water. The water report said this source had a metallic taste and guess what, it was right! The water was pretty gross but it mixed ok with some crystal light. Josh headed over to the visitors center to check it out and returned with his arms full.
"What did you yogi now?!" I asked delightedly
"Water! But I didn't exactly yogi it, I made a donation to the visitors center for it" Josh replied
He dropped ten 16oz bottles of water on the table and sat down to make dinner. As we were cooking the ranger stopped by and brought us even more water. His name was Arnie and he was very nice and knowledgable. He told us it was no problem for us to camp there and that was a relief to Josh and I since Josh was so burned out. Shortly after Arnie left a few other hikers approached. Sheriff Woody was first and he procured water and asked if we could camp there. We told him the ranger told us we could and then he asked if he could join us. When he sat down I was kind of nervous, as I usually am meeting and interacting with new people, especially so after a couple weird experiences on the trail, but he was very nice and personable. He was a southbounder on the AT in 2012 and we chatted about that and the PCT. He had hiked in from Cajon Pass today...That's like 30+ miles! We picked his brain about how he could do that and he told us stories about hiking 60 mile days on the AT. Crazy! I just don't know how they do it, for me there aren't enough hours in the day for that kind of mileage, even if I had hiker legs. There was another hiker who stopped by who's name I didn't catch and another with a dog who didn't say hello. A couple hikers were being dropped off one named Far Out who was hiking in a kilt, joined us at the table and shortly after Woody's friend Twinkle Toes was dropped off and joined us at the table. We talked for a long time while eating and all of them were very nice. Far Out asked us when we started and Josh gave the elusive "early April" answer and that prompted a discussion about pace which was awesome. It seems were not doing all that bad especially seeing as we haven't done a single hitch around. (On a related note, I also posted my concerns about not getting in big miles like everyone else to my Facebook page and got a lot of positive response. I feel much more confident about our pace and adaptation process. So much so, maybe now I can stop worrying about it and talking about it and have a good time. What a novel idea!)

Josh and I talked with Far Out about detouring around Baden Powell since Josh is worried about hitting the wall again like he did today. After that we bid everyone goodnight and left the table and pitched in a flat spot.

Right now it's 8:30 and Josh and I have studied the maps trying to figure out how to do the detour around Baden Powell but not do the super long official endangered species route. After much todo I told him that we will actually be doing a ten mile reroute to avoid a small section of trail. He agreed but I can see he is not happy. I'm ok doing the detour or not, I just want him to be ok. We'll see how he does tomorrow and which route he chooses.

Until then, goodnight.

P.S. I want to eat horseradish so bad I can hardly stand it. Isn't that such a weird craving?! Send me horseradish packets to hiker town!

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