David from the Roadside: Runningbird told me I was free to post anything I wanted. well, we’ll see. Now, Runningbird is a vegan. A strick vegan. I even tested that with an In and Out cheeseburger on her arrival back at Cabazon and she didn’t waiver. I’ve heard stories that hiking the PCT changed everything. Dusting off Gummy Bears or peanut M&Ms found in the sand. Pop it in. Hiking miles off trail for a steak. Well, in the morning before returning to the trail at Cabazon, Runningbird requested two over easy eggs on toast! Order up! Then, two more eggs on two more pieces of toast! Order up! Yep, 4 eggs, 4 pieces of toast, 2 coffees. Hiking the PCT, all bets are off.
This morning, Hannah Flats Campground, up at 0400, two coffees please? And oh, can I have two over easy eggs and two pieces of toast? Order up! I was actually very happy to have her eat. Anything! I’ve been told one of the hardest parts of hiking the PCT is getting in enough calories. With Runningbird generally doing roughly 15 hour days of hiking I was anxious to get her to consume as much as she could.
We made the 30 minute-drive back to the trailhead just as the sun was popping up over the mountains and she was on her way by 0600.
From the trailhead I drove to a Starbucks and started making notes about the water report for the next sections, checked e-mails and texts and headed out to scout the Angeles Crest Highway (ouch) and the San Gabriel Mountains. The first stop was Mountain Hardware in Wrightwood as they were a certified distributor for Dirty Girl gaiters. Somehow we ended up with one missing and I was going to get a new set for Runningbird. They were wonderful folks in the outfitters and very helpful. I bought the last set they had in XS. On my way out of town, yep, a bakery. It’s not a real town without a bakery. Two chocolate chip cookies for the road please. There were a couple hikers, Harrison and “Lucky” (who was hitching a ride up to the next trail head) so gave him a ride. Super nice guys.
The Angeles Crest Highway is a spectacular two-lane road that winds and weaves, up and down, through the San Gabriel mountains east of Los Angeles. There weren’t many other cars on the road on this week day. It’s not the shortest route but if you like spectacular views, ride motorcycles, or drive a hot car, you’ll love it. Do not do it pulling a trailer! I checked out the pickup and drop off points we would use to navigate Runningbird around the Yellow-leg Pond Hopper frog (or whatever it’s really called) and headed back down toward Wrightwood. Picked up another thru-hiker looking for a ride to Acton. What the heck, I had time. “Bill” had injured his hip and was headed for the KOA to recover a bit and await a ride to Ventura. Well, Bill was a trial lawyer from New York. Guess what Bill’s favorite subject was? We had a great visit and he even bought me a smoothie. Then I got to experience LA traffic during commute hours (not intentionally). How do people do it?