A Walk In the Clouds
Beginning Elevation = 5,200
Peak Elevation = 8,450
Ending Elevation = 7,350
Weather: 35-50°F, foggy
I got out of my tent in the morning and was surprised to find that I’d been enveloped in a cloud.
There was one other tent near me at my spot, so I packed very stealthily. I spent a good amount of time stretching, then began hiking at 6:30am.
The trail continued to go up. It was very different than any hiking I’d done yet since essentially there were no views. I enjoyed seeing the air movement. Here’s a photo of me first popping out of the “clouds” around 8:00am-ish.
It seemed like it was chasing me…I’d be climbing and if I took a break it’d catch up!
I found a great overlook to enjoy my breakfast at. It was in a sunny spot surrounded by clouds that were slowly drifting and dissolving. It was pretty amazing, one of the coolest experiences thus far.
I took my time. Got my shoes off, laid out my rain fly to dry, made some oatmeal (went for the 2 blueberry/1 peach packet combo) and a coffee/hot cocoa specialty, and watched the cloud movement.
I waited there long enough that the clouds ended up covering me again. Once back hiking, I joined in with a herd of others. I kept having to get to the side because these super hikers we’re trucking on through. They were focused, heads down, with one goal…get to town.
If you have spent any time watching PCT You-Tube videos you’ll recognize this shot…
It’s nice right. Shows the trail pretty good and what it’s like to see me walking on it. But, what I always thought was a bit silly, was then the videographer has to go back to get their phone. So, here’s my return to get my phone
A little before noon, I joined the super hiker group for lunch. They seem to have gotten to know each other pretty well and for the most part I was content to just eat my tuna roll up and coffee that I made. It got cold though! Once sitting and not hiking, I put my puffy, hat, and gloves on.
Here’s the lunch spot after they’d all left.
When packing up to keep going, I saw some of these guys. I don’t know much about birds, but if anything’s a quail, I’d say this thing is…
I got high enough in elevation so that I found some snow patches, but never needed my spikes. Then, it started actually snowing. It was coming at me sideways…
I was ready for it though!
Snow, no big deal. Down hill, more of a big deal today again. At first, I thought I could handle it, but going down the trail by this ski resort was when I decided I better rest this leg rather than keep pushing it. It’s just a lingerer. I hate lingerers.
I even debated setting up camp early and then heading to town tomorrow, but I met a guy named “Gray” and we finished it out to the parking area. He lived in Seattle just before the trail, but was originally from Grand Rapids! He went to Union High. He also was a commercial fisherman in Oregon, so I really enjoyed talking to this guy, which was a good distraction.
Once at the parking lot, I bumped into some of the super hikers. I sat for about 5 minutes, not really thinking of how I’d get into town, but then a mini van came and dropped some hikers off. She was willing to take us to Wrightwood! So, 5 hikers and packs, and her two kids all piled in. Soon later I was there.
The hardware store seems to be the hub for PCT hikers in this town. I bought some duct tape for my shoes and to have for random things, signed their trail registration sheet and they gave me a nice little pin to have.
I commenced to try and figure out where I’d stay. The hardware had a list of trail angel phone numbers that allow hikers to stay. I’m still not sure about all this, so I went for one that was recommended on the Guthook’s app by other hikers, the Holistic Health Day Spa, where I could stay for $25/night. Mama Bear picked up my call and said they had a couch I could stay on (otherwise full), they’d do my laundry, I could shower, and they’d give rides to town and back to the trail. Sounded great to me. She said just to call when ready.
It was a bit early, but I headed to get some dinner at The Grizzly Cafe.
It was delectable. The sun glasses make it difficult, so most of the time at night/indoors I’ve been going without. Soon, I’ll have my back up pair. One other hiker came in while I was there and a bunch of locals. The hikers name was Sprout.
Afterwards, I walked to the grocery store to get some stuff with electrolytes and breakfast. This is what I left with: Vitamin water, nuun hydration tablets, bananas, CT Crunch, Mambas, finger nail clippers. The electrolytes is part of my plan to heal my leg. I’m sure that’s going to do it!
After the store, I called Mama Bear and soon got picked up. This was a strange experience no doubt. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I’ll just say that during the tour of the place, I was shown the pot belly pig who lives in a cage in the middle of the the kitchen. See what I’m saying. I did also see Stretch and Grinder as well though, a welcome site in such an out-of-my-comfort zone place! So, I’m writing from my couch now. The shower was great, laundry is supposed to be ready in the morning, and I haven’t even heard the pig squeal yet 😂