Thursday, May 25
Start: Cajon Best Western
Stop: Cajon Best Western
Ummm, maybe the best zero ever?! I literally lay in bed all day and it’s great. The lounge day is topped off by watching the Pittsburg Penguins win in double overtime. Yeah Pens!
Friday, May 26
Start: Cajon BW
Stop: Burnt ridgetop, mile 356.25
Lil’ Buddha and I eventually roll out about 1230pm and we climb and climb. Just shy of 5000 ft. of climbing to be exact. The wind is ripping again but as we climb into the folds of the mountain it becomes less intense. We take a short road alternate to avoid some poodle dog brush but it turns out that it burned up in the fire last year. There’s some nice shade on the road and we take a break. We have cell service and I watch the Unogwaja Day 2 recap video and Lil’ Buddha checks Facebook. He tells me that Opus Orange, one of our favorite bands, is playing a free concert in downtown LA on Friday, June 2. It only takes a split second to realize that we want to go. Lil’ Buddha emails them for tickets and almost immediately we get a response that we’re in!! High Five! Guess we’ll be buying some goodwill clothes and renting a car to get there!
The next serendipitous moment is when we decide to jump off the road and back onto the PCT. Not long after, I meet Katie and Julie hiking a southbound section. They’re a mother-daughter hiking team and just the coolest people you’ll ever meet. We talk about my skirt, hiking life and that I’m the 74th PCT hiker they’ve seen today. Katie shows me how to sign Lion Heart in sign language and Katie reminds me not to worry about appearances.
I hike another few miles just reveling in the joyous vibes of Katie and Julie and then I come upon a burned grove of bigcone douglas-fir. I’m so sad to see that they are dead. This section of trail is the only place I’ve ever seen them.
As I get into the next ravine, I find some trees that are still alive and this makes me happy.
Lil’ Buddha nabs a nice ridgetop camp with great views in all directions. We eat dinner and then I remember that I want to take a picture with my red socks. Lil’ Buddha is already in his tent and he takes the picture from there. See my instagram post about the significance of the red socks here. This ridgetop camp has the potential for heavy winds so fingers crossed for an uneventful night.