This morning was wonderful. I woke up to a subtle sunrise and enjoyed my breakfast of lentils with apples, walnuts and candied ginger. I packed up, Gryllz made us coffee, we did some yoga stretches and we were off. We had our eyes on a prize today: a McDonald’s just off trail at a highway.
We only had about six miles to Cajon Pass, where the trail dips under I-15 but the original Route 66 takes hikers to the golden arches 0.4 miles off trail. We pushed up and up to a gorgeous view where one of the Five caught up to us. We walked with Future Problems all the way to the highway, talking about his job, corporate America and finding/following passions.
When we got to the trail junction, there was a little dance, a little song, and we practically ran up the road. There were already a handful of hikers enjoying the air conditioning when we walked in at 9:30am. I got 5 hash browns and a large Dr Pepper- all were gone within 15 minutes. We had to wait until 10:30 for anything other than breakfast but that gave us time to socialize, relax, charge our devices and enjoy running water. When I could, I got two large fries and a large sweet tea. Again, gone in 15 minutes. PITA (remember her? I haven’t seen her since Mt Laguna when we crammed 17 hikers in a cabin) showed up and joined the two of us at our calorie fest. The hikertrash gathering was amazing and we skipped out on the midday heat. Eventually (after another sweet tea) the three of us packed up and went to the gas station next door for a few extra snacks to get us to the next town. It is amazing how much you need to eat out here.
PITA led the way as we began our 27 mile waterless climb out of Cajon Pass. Grillz and I were struggling but there was a surprise water cache where the three of us took a water/snack break to recharge. PITA zoomed out while the two of us exchanged exhausted looks and trudged along after her.
The trail climbed and climbed and we started looking for a spot to camp around 4:30. The trail followed the ridge as it climbed, giving us no options to sleep so we had to keep pushing. We felt like we were going to collapse when we found a flat spot big enough for one tent and decided to all cowboy camp there. This campsite honestly sucked but we made it work. We lazily stuffed more calories in our faces before succumbing to our exhaustion.
Trail magic: 0
Hiked with: Grillz, Fortune Cookie, PITA
Camped with: Grillz, PITA