This is Section D of the Pacific Crest Trail journey, my attempted thru hike. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Mile 357 to Wrightwood
Today I rolled into Wrightwood after hiking 12 miles off of the Gobbs Knobb. I took a short cut down Acorn Trail with a couple from France. The sunrise was amazing!
I went to the market once I got into town and was offered a free hot dog at the market.
“Well hot dog! I’ll take one!”
I went a little further to mountain hardware, that seemed to be the place for the people. What I didn’t know was that I’d be meeting such an incredible woman named Wynn from Thailand. Her trail name is Pegasus. I asked how she got her name and she used the analogy that her mom always thought of her as a cow locked in the pasture. Eat her moms food, sleep in her house etc. She doesn’t want to be a mouche, she wants to be a strong woman and provide for herself she said. She would roam all the time, move from place to place and explore. Her mom would ask her, “Do you want wings or something to go in the air to roam too?” So there her name was born, Pegasus. She has since traveled to many places around the world.
We got to chatting some more and I mentioned this quote:
If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
— John Irving
She said, “you know, I didn’t know why I travel but now I do. I know now.” She looked like she just found a new meaning of life. She said “I was persecuted to. I didn’t know exactly what she meant. She explained, “My family said I was a loser and lazy but I’m not. I have the courage. A loser doesn’t have courage or motivation. How could they say that? I walked the Appalachian trail and travel around the world. And my home is now the PCT. A loser wouldn’t do that, a loser is lazy.”
Man I really wish I filmed her. It was incredible. I asked what she did before the trail and traveling and she was trying to get a PhD in biomedical engineering. She said she couldn’t pass some sort of exam, not because she couldn’t but because she didn’t want to. She saw the lives other Dr’s were living; living in the same city, waking up in the same bed, writing grants and working on the computer a lot. That way of life was not for her, she couldn’t and wouldn’t live like that. She wants to continue learning and living, not be stagnant at a job she wouldn’t enjoy. Now she is out here exploring the world. I am glad to have met her. She is a wise woman. She mentioned her soul was awoken and that she had to answer
and live it. When her family called her a loser and she saw those Dr’s living the same life, that’s when she knew.
“Losers don’t do that.” She said. “You have to find what’s deep inside your heart and follow that. I have the courage and confidence to live how I want. This is what makes me happy.”
Many people don’t answer their soul and live it.
Wrightwood to Little Jimmy Campground
Nice morning breakfast by Loretta, the owner of Rhinestone Inn where I took a zero day.
As you guys know, I like getting out to hike early but on zero days it’s always hard because no one is up or around at 5 in the morning. I got back to the trail about 10 or so I think. Loretta dropped me off at Mountain Hardware and said just stick my thumb out and I should get picked up pretty quick. Pretty quick indeed! Almost instantly. I didn’t even throw my backpack all the way on before someone stopped for me. A guy named Chris who was hiking but lived there and was doing some trail magic in the form of all day shuttling.
I Began making my way towards Baden-Powell. At the base I caught up with the two Aussie siblings I met on my first day hiking, James and Carolyn. We had a quick bite to eat before heading up to the 9,406 foot peak.
James and I summited together. Gaining that much elevation that quick was pretty tough. I was huffing and puffing way more than normal. Once I got to the top I found a wild Grams aka Rick. We’ve just been leap frogging this entire trail. James and I took in the views for a while, just took it all in. There were some gliders up there, super quiet and stealthy. James apparently has done some gliding before so explained how they take off and such. Basically you get in it then a thing pulls it really fast down a runway and off you go.
I got to hiking again while James stayed up top. I headed out with an Eagle scout named Strider. How ironic that I met an Eagle scout on Mt. Baden-Powell. Baden Powell was the founder of the scouts. We both hiked down the hill and made it to the campground Little Jimmy where I would set up camp.
This is a busy campground tonight. Kids show up at camp at 1:30 in morning like a bunch of wild hyenas. Holy god.
Little Jimmy to Mile 411.7
I started making my way to this campground that had some water but before I got there I chose to do the Hwy 2 detour to go around a closed area. The area was closed for an endangered frog. While I was walking on the road I saw a squirrel fight a crow.
This guy that owned a ski resort stopped and offered me to go to his place for water and AC but that was like an extra 2 miles round trip. No thanks. Not worth it. I would have taken a ride though because walking on pavement isn’t even fun.
later that day is when I me a gal named Yaddi with her little kitten, Manzanita. Check out her and her kitty’s Instagram here!
So far I have not seen a rattle snake but today I was warned by a guy that there was a snake no where in sight, that I could see. What? I also walked through a swarm of lady bugs. I don’t know if that’s lucky or? After the swarm of lady bugs I made it to Camp Glenwood where I filled up some water and hung out for a while.
I ended up passing my intended camp site by .5 mile, Sulfur Springs Campground. This was a little sketchy because one, it was late. Two, I had basically no water. Three, the next water was like 8 miles away at a spring that was not guaranteed. I had two choices, back track or push on. The smart thing would have been to back track the .5 mile. But I decided to go on up the hill in the sun with almost no water. I have the smarts. I mean, I made it so we good. The spring had water and I found a sweet camp site with some other hikers. You know what they say: the trail provides.
Mile 411.7 to the Ranger Station
Woke up to a beautiful morning and a bear. Oh wait, it was just a snoring man.
Hiked a pretty quick 7 miles into the fire station. I got to chat with Cup of Joe AKA Isaac from Texas. Cooked my oat meal, hung out and enjoyed the shade at the fire station. I definitely had to gain some motivation before stepping into the scorch.
After a while it was just bushwhacking type of day. Nothing real significant or out of the ordinary happened. I hiked and made it to camp with all the Germans.
Literally all the germans. I ate dinner and I was the minority at the picnic table. Let me rephrase, I was the only american. It was pretty sweet actually.
bushwhacking – To clear a path through thick woods especially by chopping down bushes and low branches. My version: Walk through thick ass plants.
Ranger Station to Hiker Heaven
It’s officially been a month being out here in the wild. Wahoo! Woke up early with the thought: This day is going to be hot as shit. Say it like Neegan from The Walking Dead, it’s way more intense.
Boy was I right, you could smell the heat, see the heat and, of course, feel the heat. I knocked out 10 miles real quick to beat it. I skipped Acton where KOA is to chill by the Santa Clara River, which by the way is more like a creek but was refreshing as hell nonetheless. I filtered some water, ate some oatmeal and chatted with Diggity from England and Frederick from Denmark. Fredrick had some high goals to get a bunk at Hiker Heaven so he went real quick. I cupped some water from the river and splashed it on my face and legs. Time to head out into the wide open, no shade, steep, long hills with sharp grass and shade. I say sharp grass because I felt it first hand, or shall I say first butt? Yeah that’s right. Worst poo in the wild ever! The whole way was either up to the left or down to the right with no cover anywhere. I slid down the hill and just went for it, got stabbed by a bunch of that sharp grass. An experience to remember I guess.
Go poo at KOA before heading into those hills, trust me. Or shall I say out of the hells, same thing either way.
Any who, out of the hills and through the tunnel where I chilled for lunch and got some quick feet rest. Only 2 miles left to Agua Dulce, where Hiker Heaven is located. As you come out of the tunnel under the freeway you enter Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, where the famous Vasquez Rock is located. It’s a famous rock where a bunch of movies were filmed. Check some out here. Super dope rock formations.
Right after a quick road walk and a hitch hike comes, finally, Hiker Heaven. Literally what it sounds like: device charging tent, showers, porta potties, laundry, what ever you need they got it. An awesome family does it for hikers at their home, so incredible. They don’t charge you to be there, but of course donating is nice because they are so nice to hundreds of hikers.
A mile from Hiker Heaven is Agua Dulce and you know I grabbed some ice cream. You can’t go to a town and not get ice cream. I grabbed a 12 inch pizza as well as another 12 inch pizza for the trail. It isn’t light by any means but frick it, it will be good. I slept at Hiker Heaven for the night and will head out at 4 a.m. to beat the heated hills again.
This is the end to Section D of the PCT. I hope you enjoyed it and find inspiration to go hike it your self! Thanks for reading!