PCT 2007 Day 51
Day 51 / 5-15-07 Cowboy Camp
Cleghorn Park – Swarthout Canyon Road
19.1 miles; (1) 347.4 total miles (12); 2183 trip miles
80’s, sunny, no shade again
Today I got up at 4:35 AM and was going some time after 5. Within the first minute of hiking, I noticed the top of my ass was wet. Somehow the hose that attaches to the bladder was loose and it was leaking inside my bag. Luckily I put my down sleeping bag in a trash bag. Some of my other stuff got damp but it could have been worse.
It was pretty light out by the time I repacked my pack. I crossed under the highway and saw my first sign that said how many miles it was to Mexico and Canada. Not too far up the trail, I found Blue Sky and Vortex. They were having their breakfast.
I then had to climb to 4160′ to a ridge. This was the longest climb in days and it wasn’t all that long. I then had to descend again into Little Horsethief Canyon to a dry creek bed. There wasn’t much to see but some power lines that made my head feel weird as I passed under them. I caught Craig from New Zealand around here. His trail name is Sun Walker. I saw my second horny toad in the canyon before we descended to Interstate 15 in Cajon Canyon. Once there we walked to Subway and got lunch. I had a foot long chicken sub, 20 oz. Coke, chips, and some Hostess Cup Cakes.
We then walked back to the McDonalds where we ran into Blue Sky and Vortex. Later Troll, Oblivious, and Apple Pie would show up. We all hung out in the little shade the McDonalds offered. The big question was how to get into and out of Wrightwood. You either have to hike down hill for 4.5 miles and back out with 4-5 days of food or hike 6 more miles north on the PCT, and then hitch 6 miles on a highway that is closed and doesn’t have a lot of traffic.
We hung out until about 4 and then Craig, Blue Sky, Vortex and I hiked out while the rest hitched to Wrightwood. We saw Junk Food and Amir as we left. As we crossed under I-15 we had to walk through a huge spillway. It was dark and had a great echo. Craig and I caught Blue Sky and Vortex who seemed to have lost the trail in the swamp on the other end.
We then watched trains go by on the Southern Pacific Railroad before climbing over a high ridge and down to Swarthout Canyon. We had great views of the interchange behind us and the mountains we have to climb tomorrow. We have 6000′ to climb in 20 miles. Not terrible, but after so much down we might be feeling it. We secured a ride down the closed highway from a local trail angel. They’re meeting us at 7 PM.
Scatman 2011- This day had some interesting views, especially in the later part of the day. It would seem I had found a new group to hike with. Having lunch at Subway was a nice treat but as usual all the food made me slow and sleepy. Luckily Craig was good company.
On the way to camp I saw an old refrigerator standing in the desert. It was shot up and dented. Just like if you found a plan crashed in the woods I had to go look inside. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Get out there!