Started: 07:05 @ MM 318.0 – Grass Valley Creek (Elevation 3,343ft)
Finished: 17:30 @ MM 341.9 – Best Western, Cajon Pass (Elevation 3,076ft)
Water: Drank 5L, a gallon of soda and still only peed twice!
Food: Oatmeal, Jerky, Trail Mix, Nakd Bar, McDonalds Milkshake, 6″ Subway, Cookies, Popcorn, Reese’s Ice-cream
Wildlife: 0 Snakes and 0 Bears
Health: 0 Blisters, a few more aches and pains after another 24 mile day!
It was such a novel experience to wake up in the morning and NOT be freezing cold. Breakfast was a jovial affair as we all lounged about in the warm morning air. The plan for today was to crush another 24 miles so that we could finish in Cajon Pass and reward ourselves with the luxury of fast food, a hot shower, laundry and a hotel bed … The perfect incentive!The PCT is most certainly a trail of great contrast and after the beauty of yesterday, today’s section took us through some less attractive areas. Empty reservoirs bore witness to California’s almost futile efforts to harness water and power. We passed beneath giant electric pylons and finally emerged right beside the chaos of Interstate 15. The day had a very “industrial” feel about it.There was of course plenty of good; the beautiful Silverwood Lake where we had our 11 o’clock shoe off, finding trail magic, coming off trail and into the arms of a McDonald’s milkshake and let’s not forget the hot shower after a very long and dry day.The PCT is many things but one thing that it seems to be rather good at is gossip, rumour and speculation. Stories seem to spread like wildfire and one that was doing the rounds today was regarding a woman who had, just yesterday, been evacuated from this section of trail after being bitten by a rattlesnake !!! Yikes … I hiked with much circumspection.As the day wore on it became simply about grinding out the miles to get to the rewards. Our little Trail Family fragmented as we all raced for the finish line. It was super hot now that we were back down at lower elevations and I had to stop to rest my feet, which always start to complain around mile 20.
Unsurprisingly Chance was first To reach Cajon Pass, his 6’5″ frame offering a distinct advantage. However, he fell foul of the fast food while I pressed on for the hot shower. I was first to the hotel and was so, so happy to get clean and then just lie down on big bed that I didn’t have to inflate. The PCT certainly teaches you a lot about gratitude and the simple pleasures in life.