We were cozy in our tent last night, but as soon as we unzipped the door this morning, the cold came rushing in. We had a hot meal to make so there would be no breakfast in our bed. As soon as we put our water bottle on the picnic table it quickly became ice. We managed to eat our breakfast as we walked to stay warm. We left our campsite and quickly hiked the 5 miles to the road where we hoped to get a ride to Wrightwood. This is the first time that we hiked with all our clothes on and it felt good. We had a short wait at the road. I guess we looked pretty cold. The driver took us right to the Mountain Hardware store where we had sent a resupply box. This town gets a 5 star for being hiker friendly. Mountain Hardware is quite welcoming and encourages everyone to take advantage of trail angels who are wanting to host hikers. In fact while we were organizing our food a women drove up and said "I have room for six hikers" I will do your laundry while you shower and have plenty of food to make meals for you." Don and I had decided that we were going to a small campsite to spend the rest of the day so we declined the offer. She then offered to take us to the trailhead 10 miles away. She has a house in Wrightwood that she comes up every other weekend from LA in the summer to host hikers. Her request is that you pass it forward. We ate a delicious lunch at the bakery before catching the ride to the trailhead. There was enough warmth in the sun to enjoy the afternoon. Volunteers supplied water at the campground and even came by later that evening to see if we needed anything.
Miles hiked 7
After spending a most relaxing afternoon yesterday. We were excited about hiking to the summit of Mount Baden Powell today. The last several days have been one of enduring the winds and so when this morning greeted us with calm, we accepted it with thanks. If one could choose a perfect day to do a summit bid, this was it! It was a slow and consistent rest step getting us to the top. The views were outstanding as we looked back to where we had been yesterday and recalled the cold, windy night of two days ago.
Close to the top we passed the Waldron tree and took a moment to appreciate its significance.
Miles hiked 19
Today road walking is on the schedule. Due to the trail being closed for an endangered frog species we are being re routed by using the highway. There is another option to take a much longer trail, but everyone that we talked to said to avoid it. We wait for first light to start walking as we want to make sure we are well seen by drivers.
Just before we got off the road to get back on the trail, a car stopped, put the window down and said,"You PCT hikers?" When we acknowledged by saying yes. He then asked us if we would like a can of crushed pineapple. He proceeded to tell us why it would be good for us. The offer sounded great and we were soon in possession of the can. It was a great treat for a mid morning snack.
The miles are adding up!
It has been an easy trail today, some forest service road and mostly mellow trails. We stop at Camp Glennwood which is not opened yet, but has picnic tables and bathrooms for hiker use. We decided to have some lunch here and just as we are finished eating several vehicles drive in. Maxx walks over and welcomes us to the camp. He drives up on weekends to provide trail magic for the hikers. He is on the board for the camp. Another neat thing he does is provide postcards and postage for the hikers to send. He offers to make us burgers, but since we have just eaten lunch and a full can of pineapple we decline. We do, however, accept the offer of freshly made brownies. Once again we experience the magic of trail magic!
The trail has now changed its character, we are back to the mostly up terrain.
We are also encountering the plant called poodle dog bush. Poodle dog bush grows quite frequently after fires. It can be quite the skin irritant if touched so we find ourselves weaving around the plants.
We stop at a small seasonal stream to filter water. Mantis and Pick up, folks we haven't met yet pass us. They look quite clean and tell us that at one of the earlier towns that they had stopped, they met a couple who wanted to give them a night out when they were close to here. They met them at a trail head, took them out to eat and then got them a hotel for the night. A fun story to hear. They moved on and we finished getting our water. As we climb upwards, the weather is deteriorating. Our original plan to camp up high does not look good. On a ridge top we see Mantis and Pick Up setting up their camp. The wind is whipping their tent. We tell them that we are heading down even though it is getting late. Camping up here does not seem like a good idea. Fortunately for us the trail is down and easy to travel. The sun has set and we put up our tent in the wind. We can only imagine what the temperature and the wind is like up on the ridge.
Miles hiked 30
The wind blew all night and we were thankful that all our stakes held. There were several other tents in the area and they did not hold up to the wind. One of the hikers curled up into some bushes when his tent blew down. Needless to say he did not sleep well. We were camped near a fire station that had a faucet for a water source. We had to load up with water once again, it is an 18 mile stretch with no water. The day starts out cold and stays that way for most of the day. We wear our puff jackets all day and find protected places to take breaks.
Miles hiked 18
We waited till the first rays of sun hit our tent before venturing out. It was below freezing, but fortunately the wind had died. The sun quickly warmed us up as we packed up and headed down the trail.
Soon we were on the approach to Aqua Dulce. First though we had to go under a roadway and follow the large sign with the arrow.
The trail led us through the Vasquez county park. We weave our way through many varied rock formations. Apparently these have also been used as backdrops for filming as well as a hideout for some earlier robbers.
Miles hiked 18