PCT Day 31 – Sunday May 14
Cajon Pass Mile 341.9 to Mile 357.2
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 15.4
Feet Ascended Today: 4500
Feet Descended Today: 1040
Current Elevation: 6469
I awoke in the middle of the night to Elise gently shaking me to get my attention. I had earplugs in so I took them out.
“The decor in this room is weird,” she said to me in English, sitting up in the bed. I was a little confused for a moment, and then I remembered the stories about her sleep talking. Teehee. She lay back down again.
“Is the temperature in the room ok?” I asked, as we had some difficulty getting the air conditioning to work ok.
“Oh yes it’s perfect,” she said and then fell back asleep.
Elise did not remember this conversation when I told her about it this morning.
“Huh that’s strange,” she said, “I actually like the decorations in this room. Maybe I was dreaming about another room.” She also thought it was interesting that she spoke in English as French is her native language.
We all met for breakfast at 6:00 am in the hotel lobby. I pigged out on eggs, sausages, oatmeal and hot chocolate and then we began the road walk back to the trail. When we reached trail again, we began today’s hike by walking under the I-15 Underpass. Then we walked under one set of railroad tracks and over another one. It felt very industrial.
Eventually the trail started climbing into the foothills. At the 5-mile mark, we hit a water cache that actually had some water in it. I was carrying 4 liters of water as the next reliable water source wasn’t until another 17 miles up the trail and we’d be dry camping tonight. We topped off at the cache and kept hiking up into the mountains.
Today’s hike was a big ascent of 3300 feet into the mountains. A fire burned this area last year so the hills were bare and charred. The wind whipped dust into our eyes and sometimes it felt like the wind would tip me right over as we walked along the tops of ridges and hills.
We hiked for about 10 miles and then had lunch at the junction with a forest service road. We could still see the Interstate down far below us, with miniature cars traveling at a distance. We napped in the sun, listening to mellow relaxing music from Halfway’s iPhone.
After lunch we hiked another 5 miles until we reached a campsite at Gobbler’s Knob which we had considered camping it. It was extremely windy and exposed and the fire had burned up all brush and shrubs that would have provided protection. I got soot all over the bottom of my skirt when I sat down.
We were all feeling petty tired but kept going for another mile or so until the Trail reached another junction with the same forest service road. This spot offered better protection from the wind and actually had some trees that weren’t completely burned up from the fire. We set up our tents, and as we settled in 3 or 4 additional hikers joined us.
It was supposed to get down to 28 degrees tonight so I put on all my warm clothing and huddled in my sleeping bag.