Friday, May 14, 2010

A short walk to Wrightwood

Day 30-May 13th
5 Miles
Destination: Wrightwood via Lone Pine Canyon Road

We woke early, but started slow, knowing that we only had about 5 miles to cover to get to a road for a hitch in to Wrightwood. The crew had decided to head into town early to gather information on the snow conditions over Blue Ridge.

The walk was a short climb over a saddle, followed by a three mile walk downhill to Lone Pine Canyon Road, for a hitch into Wrightwood. Apricots was ready for a town break as she was feeling a little off. Psycho was ready for a town break as he prefers the towns to the trail. It's a wonder he even hikes.

After reaching Lone Pine Highway, traffic looked grim. Ninety percent of the cars were heading the opposite direction that we needed to go, and the remaining cars were traveling uphill, therefore, less prone to stopping. Two cars traveling the opposite direction did stop to talk to us.

Fate was in our favor though, we had a ride in less than an hour. A college student with desires to hike the PCT found pity on us, and stopped, cramming Apricots, Psycho, and Sir Richard Wizard into her small car. Uncle Tom had caught a ride before the rest of the crew made it down the hill. When we arrived, he informed us that he had secured us free lodging at a trail angels house (Ray and Susan).

After grabbing a few things downtown, we walked the five minutes to the house and dropped our packs. We ran into some hiking friends that we catch in towns (and sometimes on the trail):

The Golden Child


We spent the afternoon walking between the pizza/bar establishment and the host house, where a pet tarantula enjoyed a meal of crickets, and one of their sons, Logan, wiggled around falling for enjoyment, and offering thru-hikers high fives.

In the late afternoon, we headed over to catch Game 6 of the NBA semi-finals, Celtics vs Cavaliers. While watching the game, an older gentleman looked at Apricots, and said, "you must be rooting for the Celtics because you look irish as hell, and you are drinking whiskey."

After the Celtics won the game, the 60 year old Uncle Tom cashed in his winnings, three drinks courtesy of Cavaliers fans. He triumphantly downed a fierce drink, an irish car bomb. Soon enough, seven of us lined up to all do an Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson's whiskey, and Baileys Irish Cream). After we finished drinking them, an older gentleman at the end of the bar (a local), informed us that that round was on him. A kind spirit offering a little trail magic for our trail worn bodies.

It is amazing the generosity that complete strangers offer us on our journey. A free place to stay, a round of drinks, and someone has offered us rides to the trail tomorrow. We are going up to slackpack the 13 mile section we skipped today. Slackpacking is where you empty your pack of 90% of its contents and only hike with the minimum needed items for a day hike. After slackpacking that section, we will hitch back to Ray and Susan's for a second night in their humble abode.

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