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PCT Day 36: Mile 394-418.5 The Fire House
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire . . . – Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three
I woke, early as usual. I could still hear the creek just campside gurgling away. It was time to move! I went through the morning routine and was soon standing with my coffee, leaving camp, waving bye to those who were up, and woundering if those still snuggled in their bags were going to sleep in.
I pressed on, after stopping to put my hoody away when Amanda caught up to me. I had met her briefly in Wrightwood and again the night before, but this was the first time we ever actually got to chat. We rambled on as we walked and I asked about where she came from, which I was happy to sit back and listen to as we hiked up and out of the valley.
The views were gorgeous, and we took in the morning light. Soon we came upon Camp Glenwood where we stopped to rest and grab water. Soon the rest of the gang showed up! There were free post cards including postage on a post board nearby and I grabbed one to send out (you’ll find out who you are soon enough). We chatted and snacked before leaving the nice small camp.
I trekked out with Lucas and we chatted as we went rolling through the hills, heading up through the high desert and the pines. It was a really nice day and we bobbed from road crossing to road crossing. Finally we all started to split off into our little bubbles trekking through the landscape. Cool Runnings caught up to me on the downhill and we chatted as we went. He told me about his service in the military and his maintenance on Helos. I told him about my time as an Engineer in the repair and overhall plant in Phoenix I had done. We laughed at the small connection you find in unexpected places.
We came upon Lucas chilling under a tree, and soon took a quick break before pushing on and up through the brush laced trail to the pines above and eventually a beauful saddle that overlooked the valley west. We all took a break, eating lunch and enjoying a little down time.
Ready to press on after some good snack, we hiked down the last few miles to the Fire House. The words Beer and Pizza were all it took to bring most of us running! Doug, a hiker, was there just handing out free food to anyone interested, asking no thanks in return. We thanks him anyway. We mashed down and hiking just a little further down to camp. There we stretched, ate, joked on about thai ramen, and the 24-24-24 challenge (more info to come), and things we had seen on trail. It was a solid day, everyone was in good spirits and the views of course were incredible.
Amanda – 33, from Portland, hiking with her dad who just so happened to qualify for the Boston Marathon. She has her Bachelors from Portland State in Hearing and Speech Therapy and did some shadowing all while working as a waitress as Ruth Criss. She loves helping those in need and is excited to go back to grad school once completing the PCT.
Lucas – 20s, Lucas is a funny character. Funny in that he always seems to have a look on his face that he is pondering something deep written across his face if you aren’t speaking to him directly. When you do speak with him he is funny, chatty, and on a mission of his own. He can trek fast and hard. He attempted the PCT in 2017 which was brought to a hault by fired in Oregon and Washington. After coming off trail he found it hard to readust coming so close to finishing. He’s back this year with a lot of energy and vigor for cleaning up the unfinished business he has.
PCT Day 17: Mile 206-209.5 Cabazon
The wind was really kicking. Felt like my tent was in a mosh pit and the heavy part of the song just hit. Finally at day break, it calmed long enough for me to pack my tent and bag up and get back on the trail.
Dana was up and ready as she seemed like an early morning gal, I said goodbye, took a picture, and headed out onto the trail.
Whatever the wind held back in that morning, it made up for over the rest of the day. I pinned my hat down and covered it with my buff to make sure it didn’t take flight as I walked through the flat desert after Snow Creek towards the I-10.
I could hear the roar of the highway grow closer, and soon found myself on a service road, walking with my thumb out. The Post Office didn’t open until 8:30, but surely someone would pick me up. . . . not a soul on the road headed my way until finally Jose, from Mexico in his little blue Nissan picked me up.
I thanked him, and grabbed my resupply box (Thanks Mark!) from the Post Office. Then after some administrative work at the town library, I headed to In and Out for a burger and fries that I had been craving all day.
Stuffed to the gills, pack heavy with 6 days of food, I set back out on the road towards the junction where the I-10 met the PCT. It was still chilly from the wind gusting and the 60 degree weather. It wasn’t until the last 2 miles of my 7 mile walk from In and Out that Dave, a Marlboro smoking white bearded fella pulled over and gave me a lift.
I thanked him, we fist bumped, then I went under the overpass. To my surprise Matt (guy I hiked with day 1) showed up not long after I did! We caught up sharing stories from the last few days over dinner. It was 8.5 miles to the next camp and it was too late to start that push. Seeing as I had almost walked 17 getting around town, I decided to stay . . . under an overpass (can’t get much more homeless than this!). I pitched my tent, grabbed my headphones, and prayed for at least a little sleep.
Dave – 60s, Marlboro smoking, truck driving, kind fella that hooked me up with a ride to my home under the overpass.