Sunday, April 24, 2016

That. Was. Hard.

Day 19 - April 24
Mile 342 to 364.5
up/down: 8000/2800 feet

New birds:
Cedar Waxwing (motel grounds)
Vaux's Swift (circling us on the lower ridges)
Golden-crowned Kinglet (in the firs at 8000 ft.)

No use wasting a perfectly good breakfast- we hammered the motel buffet before hitting the road. And road it was as we had a mile walk on a busy road to get back to the trail. Our route started with a long tunnel under I-15 then wound around the rail track before starting the ascent in earnest. Similar to our approach to Cajon Pass from the south two days before (but without the howling winds), our trail followed eroded sandstone canyons and knife edge ridges. After a few miles we dropped into the San Andreas Rift, a broad valley that we crossed to get to the real mountains. From the it was up, and up, and up following ridges and always gaining altitude. We passed through chaparral to oak scrub, then hit a stretch of Douglas Fir, and finally the White Fir and Jeffrey Pines of the montane. The views all day were spectacular. We finally reached Guffy Camp, the only water source all day, and called it a day. It is really cold out, the wind is howling over the ridge, and we're very tired. 

We resupply in Wrightwood tomorrow. I really screwed this one up when planning. Wrightwood is a popular resupply destination so I just went with it. What I didn't take into account was getting there from the trail. Our camp tonight is on a ridge overlooking Wrightwood - TWENTY FIVE HUNDRED FEET BELOW!  There are two possible ways to get to town from the trail. The Acorn trail goes from near this camp into town on a 4 mile switchback jaunt down the mountain. Or we can continue 5 miles to where Highway 2 and the PCT meet and try the notoriously difficult hitch into town. What to do? Call a friend! Randy and I go back to grade school and were best of friends growing up and stayed close ever since.  He's been following the blog and keeping up with us. I knew his mother had lived in Wrightwood for many years so texted him to see if they had any contacts to help us with the ride. But that wasn't good enough for my friend, he is driving down tomorrow morning to meet us and ferry us to town and back. We are again humbled by the generosity of our friends as we continue this pursuit. Thank you Randy. 

The town of Wrightwood far below 


  1. You won't see red fir until you hit the Sierra. White fir is what you see in the Transverse Ranges.

  2. Mt baldy may have deep snow still, and with the storm comming in I would take the alt rout to avoid being on the ridge lines. Just a heads up.

  3. "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!" Rudyard Kipling. Meaning, highest praise to you two.