Mile 332.4 to mile 341.8
9.4 trail miles
Today is my older sister's birthday. Happy Birthday sis, I hope you had a great day. (If you haven't noticed, it is birthday season in my family right now.)
It was a very cold and windy night and somehow we still woke up with dew on our tent. It was like frosty dew too. Yuck! There must have been a lot or moisture in the air because I thought the wind would eliminate any tent moisture.
We got up early with the thought of McDonalds on our minds and we had survived any attack by the wild animals that we heard in the night. Phew.
We only had like 10 miles to the Golden Arches (there was a .4 mile road walk from the trail to the eatery.) We expected it to be an easy 10 miles but it never seems to go that way. When stuff like that happens it always makes me think of a line from a country song 'If you wanna hear God laugh, tell him your plans.'
We were both dragging our feet as we hiked along the fairly level trail. When we reached the base of the mountain that we had to get up and over Mandie stated that she needed to sit down and eat something if we were going to climb this hill. I was pretty hungry myself, a cup of soggy cereal just doesn't cut it. So, we sat down next to the trail and dumped some cold water into a bag of instant mashed potatoes, it was that or Top Ramen. They don't taste bad cold but the texture is a little weird when you use cold water.
Back on the trail we slogged our way up the mountain. On a normal day, with enough food in our bellies, it wouldn't have been such a hard climb. We did have some wonderful views of the Cajon Pass area and listened to the sound of train whistles blowing all morning though. We also had some pretty frigid winds blowing by us too.
We were a mile or two from the road when I spotted a Horned Lizard in the middle of the trail. I slowly approached it and using my poles to divert it away from the bushes I was able to catch it!!! It made my morning. I have been trying to catch one of those guys since day one. I was very excited and had Mandie take some pictures of me posing with it. Needless to say, the lizard was all but impressed. They always look so smug. After some photos we returned it safely to its natural habitat.
We finally arrive at McDonalds and Smuggles and Heatwave are already there and are finishing up there meal. We set our stuff down in the booth next to them and went to the counter to order way too much food. McDonalds isn't my most favorite fast food joint but we were so hungry it didn't matter.
While we sat there eating all this glorious food and ice creams we charged our phones. My phone had completely died and Mandie's phone was about to. The battery brick that we carry with us to charge our phones on the trail was out of juice so we were powerless.
With full bellies we needed to come up with a plan. We were out of food, out of power, and our tent was wet from the night before. We heard that there was a Best Western on the other side of the freeway and decided that we needed to go there since Wrightwood, our next town, was 30 miles away.
Just before we were about to get up Timone and The Ambassador show up. These are two of the 4 or 5 guys that were AT hikers. We had bumped into them several times before and were really surprised to see them here. We thought that they would be long gone by now. These guys are really nice and have somehow gotten a bad rap on the trail and on Facebook. I think people are going off of gossip instead of actually getting to know them. We were happy to see them again.
We hoofed it to the Best Western, dodging the cross traffic like Frogger, and got a room. We did take notice of the Subway and Del Taco that was near by too. More food! While Mandie showered I ran over to the gas station and got us stuff to drink. Then, it was my turn in the shower. Glorious!
Now that we were all clean we needed our clothes to be as clean as we were. Lucky for us there was a washer and dryer there, unfortunately it was being used. After a couple more failed attempts at doing laundry we decided that we needed more food. We walked over to Subway and got a delicious sandwich with all the fixin's. We also got an extra sandwich that we would save for the trail tomorrow. On the way back we checked the laundry room and it was free! So we did laundry and sat on the bed naked eating our sandwiches and watched Lethal Weapon.
With laundry all done and onto our second Lethal Weapon we both started to doze off. It was so wonderful being in a bed all clean and warm we just laid there and let the sleep fairy do her job.