McDonalds at Cajon Pass was way more fun than I anticipated; it was a hiker hangout. We arrived just as it started to rain again. It was relaxing sitting inside watching the rain. One lady, Thunder Bunny spent the previous night under I-15 and then spent the whole day in McDonalds. While I was there, a boyfriend of a hiker met her with a chocolate cake to celebrate her birthday. The cake was shared with ALL the hikers after that. 🎂
I spent 3 hours there and ate two meals. For those keeping score: 20 chicken mcnuggets, 1 double quarter pounder w/cheese and three 32oz refills of Dr Pepper. That still wasn’t much compared to the youngsters, but with the piece of chocolate cake I was sated. The comradery with the other hikers was great.
I finally left to put some more miles in and managed 5.5 before finding a tiny spot out of the wind to pitch my tent. Saturday will be a tough one: 17 miles gaining 3500ft in elevation just to meet the “Acorn Trail”. I then descend 2000 ft in 3.5 miles to get to the town of Writewood where I purchase food for the next leg. Another 20+ mile day. 😣
I’m also in serious need of laundry. I washed two pair of socks at the Hot Springs two days ago; neither are dry. There just hasn’t been enough sun. So I’ll be wearing a damp pair to hike in Saturday. I knew this would happen in Washington, but the desert? Weird, weird weather.
Started at first light into a dank and grey day. The plants were still full of moisture from the previous day’s rain, so my pants were getting damp as the morning went on. The lack of wind was welcome.
The trail climbed continuously and I was soon above the clouds. It was nice to see Mr Sun and at least my pants dried. Climbing higher I was on ridge tops and the wind picked up. There was snow on the peaks and the wind was chilly. I would eventually get up to 8,400 ft and was slogging through snow before hitting the Acorn Trail. The Acorn Trail descends sharply and ends on Acorn Ave.: House after house were “Deluxe high end mountain home” and most were clearly empty. This follows a trend I saw in Big Bear: rich people’s tax right-offs.
I finally made it to the Pines Motel; a 1940’s style motel that caters to hikers. After 11hours of hiking I dropped the pack in the room and found a restaurant. One brosted chicken dinner later I can relax before going back to wash my clothes.
Here is looking south toward Cajon Pass at dawn.