After our peaceful zero day yesterday, we were ready to go this morning. Sampling a leisurely breakfast of bagels and smoothies, we checked out of our motels, and headed to try and catch a ride from the grocery store. When we got there we ran into Noah the Prophet, who we had last seen at Ziggy and the Bears. He had arrived yesterday morning and was heading out later. Apparently one women had come into the store a couple of days ago with a rattlesnake bite on her upper arm. After less than five minutes with our thumbs out, a man named stretch pulled over, and very kindly shuttled us back to the trail. As we got there, four other hikers showed up, and he very kindly gave them a ride back into town. Hoisting our packs, we set of on the gradual downhill of the first couple of miles. Quickly reaching the parking lot for day hikers heading up the nearby trails, we knew we had some climbing ahead if us. For just short of four miles the PCT climbs up to nine thousand feet to curl just short of the summit of Baden-Powell. A short trail lets you quickly hike the final section to reach the top and be rewarded with stunning views to the north of the Mojave stretching itself out. To the south are views all the way to San Diego, unfortunately a wall of cloud prevented us from seeing it. Eating lunch near the top, we rested near a tree that is around 1500 years old, with a contortion of limbs and roots clinging to the mountain. Following our break, we then began a ridge descent, hiking through the clouds and pine trees. This gave the trail an ethereal quality, smoky and hidden. Patches of sun shone through, making it a very pleasant hike. Reaching Little Jimmy’s Campground, we decided not to stay due to the popular presence of bears who have scoped the place out. This meant hoisting our packs for the next nine miles, descending to highway 2, which we would follow its course. Climbing back up for two miles, we started to feel the mileage, and upon reaching the top, became chilled with the cooling cloud and wind. Back down to the road the trail went, before criss-crossing to the other side. It was at this point that due to an endangered yellow frog, the trail was closed, which required us to road walk 2.7 miles. This was not the most exciting part of the trail, and after climbing the mountain and walking for more then 20 miles our legs were starting to cramp up. Finally reaching the campsite we were startled by the large number of campers here for the weekend. Another pair of hikers quickly offered us a space in the area they booked, which we happily accepted. Setting up our tents we were bombarded with generous offers of food and drink from people who were helping out thru-hikers. Too exhausted, we cooked our dinner and collapsed in our tents.
Miles hiked – 23