Due to the complete lack of doing anything noteworthy on a zero day, I have combined our last two days into one post. During the night in the mountains, after popping out of the tent briefly, there was an amazing view of the lights on the desert floor miles below. After a peaceful nights sleep, we gathered our gear to continue the climb up to the top of the mountain. A long winding trail marched up the hill and into the forest carpeting the higher slopes. This provided a cool pleasant change in temperature, with spectacular views to the north. Quickly reaching Guffy Campground, where we met on route Story Time. He mentioned he was from Burlington, MA after I mentioned that my trail name was Boston Ben. This makes the first person I have met on the trail from Massachusetts. He also told us that he and two others were slack packing (hiking without most of their gear) back to McDonald’s to fill up before hitching back. With gorgeous views overlooking the desert carpeting the San Andreas fault, we rested in the cool shade, chatting to Tower, an older hiker who is walking half the trail. Apparently the night before it had been extremely windy, with us somehow picking the only sheltered site on the mountain. Carrying on, we started to notice the concentration of day hikers, a common occurrence whenever we come in close proximity to a trail town. Offers of water were kindly offered by those we passed, but well stocked we knew the lure of a hot lunch. Walking through the forest we came across two large artificial lakes completely fenced off. Wondering at this strange sight we quickly realized what they were for when we came to a barren ski field. On the other end we found the highway, where a very kind trail angel was shuttling people back and forth to Wrightwood. Cramming in the back jump seats in his truck, we whipped into town, right up to our accommodation. The plush Canyon Creek Inn was considered perfect by Rattles for a Zero day. Nathan found slightly more thru-hiker suitable lodgings next door at the Pines Motel. After a quick shower we went to one of the local diners, where we devoured burgers and a lot of soda. Shopping at the local grocery store, we had to purchase food for our first Sierra leg as well as the next five days. A summary of our food purchases revolved around chocolate bars (40+ snicker bars), pop tarts, Mac and Cheese, nuts, and noodles. Seeing all this, we rapidly bought avocados, tomatoes and fresh fruit to greedily consume on our zero day. The following 24 hours involved draining our numerous blisters, lying on the bed, and generally not trying to walk anywhere. One of the photos below shows the skin coming completely off my little toe, you have been warned! We saw various hikers in town, including Simon, who we had last seen in Idyllwild. Dinner was at Mile High Pizza, where Rattles rated it at the best pizza so far in the USA. Filled with thousands of calories we headed back to our last night in a bed for probably two weeks.
Miles hiked – 13