Miles 332.4-351.8, plus 0.8 to/from McDonalds
The night was a bit cold as I slept with the rain fly off my tent but I had enough layers to keep warm and waking up during the middle of the night too warm and had to delayed. I was so glad there was no wind as that would have made for a fun night.
Around 520 I noticed that the sky was starting to brighten so I quickly packed up my stuff, I wanted to watch and that pictures of the sunrise. It was not to disappoint at all and it was the most perfect way to start the morning, better than a cup of coffee or orange juice.
The goal of the morning was to get to Cajon Pass and McDonalds 9.5 miles ahead plus a 0.4 mile road walk. I spent the whole morning not seeing another person but more rabbits than I have ever seen while hiking. The songbirds tweeted away and it was so calming. The trail itself was nice gently descending and ascending until finally hitting the crest and steeply at times worked it’s way down into the canyon. I could see the interstate for most of the morning and watched as ant sized semi’s worked their way up and over the pass. The views did not disappoint.
Semis working their way up and over the pass
Second breakfast @ 930
I stayed at McDonalds several hours as new hiker friends arrived. I had lunch there as well of chickens nuggets, fries and shake. Peaks, Rocky, Sir John, Country Gold and I set off around 2 to get a portion of the 5000ft climb out of the way. And all I will say is it was killer not because of the climb but because of the brick lodged in my gut and McD burps the whole way up. We crossed under Interstate 15 and then through a tunnel.
The climb up was wicked windy, nearly blow you off the ridge/hillside. It was slow going but I was feeling good. Country Gold opted to camp early in hopes of catching a sunrise/sunset. The rest of us were motivated by having to climb less tomorrow and get town early. Other than being windy it was smooth sailing in terms of grading and quality of the terrain. We made it to the dirt road, walked up a bit to find flat spots for camp and set up for the night. The wind continues throughout the evening and into the night flattening my tent several times. I called to get a room in town during a brief wind reprieve just in case things were full when I got in. I wanted a room to rest and soak my feet and not share a open space with loads of hikers.
The sunset was nice but I didn’t even take a picture. I was so focused on try to keep my belongings from flying away.