Sunday, May 19, 2013

Days 32-33, May 18-19 Unexpected Wrightwood Day Zero and Hitting the Trail

Wrightwood Day 0, Leaving Wrightwood mile 369 to Mile 384, Little Jimmy Camp

The plan was to leave Wrightwood Saturday afternoon...but things rarely go according to plan, especially when it comes to leaving town.

Enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the Evergreen Cafe with Rocky, TRex, ChikChak, Sour Cream and Carrot, and then returned to the room to pack up and head out...but then decided we didn't really care to head out! Opted instead to spend a few hours watching Law & Order (we are powerless against this time suck) and take time finishing up final chores, including visiting the library for internet (which proved useless due to a 30 minute time limit that automatically logs you out), the hardware store for stove alcohol, and a few last minute groceries at the local store. I picked up fresh fruit and avocadoes to take on the trail, and kept my fingers crossed that they'd stay good long enough for me to enjoy them.

Team Tingo (Tracy and Ingrid) arrived to town and we went to Mexican with them for dinner and enjoyed a giant margarita with our huge plates of food. Returned home and went to sleep early in hopes of an early departure on Sunday. We were so exhausted we fell asleep with the TV on, and woke up at 6am to the beginnings of a Law & Order marathon - trouble! Once again, our plans were foiled. We didn't check out until we had to at 11. I begrudgingly said my goodbyes to the goofy motel room which I'd already come to love, slanted bathroom walls/floor and all. On the bright side, it was my best town deprature yet - no tears! For now the second time ever, I had to stick up my thumb to get a ride back to the trail. A really sweet woman named Shannon and her daughter Madison turned around for us to drive us all the way back to where they'd just come from. More trail magic - she refused to let me give her gas money - and we were on the trail by around 12:30.

Mt. Baden-Powell loomed ahead - I was tired and not in the groove of hiking yet, so the prospect of climbing to the top wasn't too exciting. At the same time, I grew up not too far from said mountain, and never had the chance to hike to the top - it was fun to feel like the trail was on familiar territory. The first 5 miles loped pretty pleasantly through the trees and meadows, and I popped in my earbuds to enjoy some new music I'd bought in town. Got to the base of Mt. B-P around 3, and started climbing the 4 miles/3,000ft to the top. The trail is a popular hiking area, and all kinds of day hikers were heading down hill at that point. Most of the other girls out there were wearing freshly cleaned Lululemon tops and spandex with full makeup and hair done. I'm sure the looks of me and other thru-hikers were quite the shock to their systems. The dirt just doesn't come out of my clothes anymore...

After hiking through some really beautiful very old gnarled trees, we reached the top, which I imagine has awesome views of the LA area and possibly out to Catalina on a clear day, but the valley was pretty smoggy. We wanted to press on to camp, so snapped a few pictures then headed out. I was feeling good, but poor Dr. Slosh's feet were hurting - he sent me on my way while he attended to his new blisters. I enjoyed the solo hiking and blasted my tunes. Previously, my thoughts when I'm alone tended towards the many other things I could be doing at home - spending time with friends, bbq-ing at the lake, heck, even working! Anything but hiking. But not so today! I just enjoyed the scenery, and the relative lack of internal dialogue was peaceful, if quite unusual. It was officially the first day back on the trail after a town stop that I didn't cry.

Made it to camp around 8 to an awesome reception from the Portland crew and Sour Cream - it made me so happy to have other people happy to see us. Cooked a quick dinner and then headed to sleep in prep for a long day tomorrow.

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