Destination: Wrightwood via Highway 2
We woke this morning and went to a coffee shop rumored to offer a free cup of coffee to thru-hikers. After the coffee, Apricots and Psycho went to the Grizzly Cafe, where we refueled over a heart breakfast. The cafe offers 50 percent off to thru-hikers. We enjoyed a vast breakfast that provided the necessary calories to fuel us up the hill for today's slackpack.
A local trail angel offered to give us a ride back to the trail where we jumped yesterday. Richard Wizard, General Lee, Uncle Tom, Apricots, and Psycho piled into a car and drove the five miles down the hill. It was our plan to slackpack a thirteen mile stretch of the PCT (plus three miles back up to the trail).
Our climb of 1100 feet was warm, but when we reached the trail, clouds had rolled in. Nothing daunting, but just enough to keep the temperature down. Our climb placed us back on the PCT, still within the burnzone, but no longer in the detour area. The stalks and leaves had burned off the yuccas. The resulting plant looked like a blackened pineapple.
We worked up to 8200 feet, and were offered amazing views in all directions. Due to snow at the elevation we wandered back and forth between the trail, and a neighboring jeep road. The road was covered with pine cones, and we all stabbed the pine cones with our trekking poles trying to throw them at one another. Road walks are more fatiguing than trail walks, but they allow for more social interaction, and with the lightened packs, we were all in high spirits.
At the end of the day, we reached the road with zero traffic. We called the trail angel that gave us a ride earlier to catch a ride back to town. The ride turned out to be borderline frightening. First she drove straight past us, and then came back five minutes later. Once loaded in the car she offered us hot coffee with chocolate liquor. The drive down the hill was fast and terrifying.
She had trouble staying in the lanes, and despite our request to be dropped at the house we were staying at, she insisted we stay at her house. When we referred to our hosts as trail angels, she stopped the car and said "I am your trail angel, no one else is." She drove us to her house and insisted we toured the house so that we could come back and stay with her. She hit on everyone in the car in one fashion or another, and generally made all of us feel like we were trapped in a Stephen King novel.
Eventually we were able to get her take us back to Ray&Susan's place, where we barbecued for the hosts.
Tomorrow we head back to the trail for a grueling 85 mile hike to Agua Dulce. Fifty of which is another fire detour, most on roads.
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