Days 16-20 of Yeti’s Pacific Crest Trail PCT blog 2017
103 miles from Big Bear Lake to Wrightwood.
22nd May 2017 – 7 miles from Mile 266 to 273
My day started with breakfast at Denny’s – a famous American Diner chain – for their biscuits and gravy special. Other hikers had raved about it, but I was skeptical… It turned out to be savory damper with sausage gravy, hash browns and eggs. It actually tasted pretty good! A nice change from my usual staple of oats.
I’d spent last night in Big Bear Lake with eleven other hikers – a dozen-or-so of us have loosely fallen into a group, catching up every couple of days and hiking together some days. My trail name seems to have become “Yeti”, it’s apparently what I look like coming down the long hills and it seems to have stuck.
The others left early in the morning. Most had had a full “zero” – a no hiking day – yesterday. But I’d hiked for half the day yesterday and had a few things to do in town. I got my laundry and food resupply done in the morning. I was aiming to hike for a couple of hours later in the day, to avoid the relentless midday heat of the desert.
I struggled to get a hitch from town to the trail, as I was in a difficult spot. Eventually a guy pulled into a servo a bit further down and honked. He turned out to be a Scottish guy who had moved to the US in ’77. When he was younger, he’d spent a year hitching around Europe and another year around South America.
After getting dropped off, I managed to hike 7 miles in a couple of hours to get to a nice campsite. My body felt good after nearly a full day of rest.
23rd May 2017 – 21 miles from Mile 273 to 294
I treated myself to a sleep in, as I didn’t have my full zero day yesterday. I managed to get up and going by 8am, just as two other hikers I knew went past.
I ran into Goaltech who was hiking the opposite direction with a mesh bag of treats to give out – chips, coffee sachets and hard lollies! I also ran into a couple of park rangers who were keen for a chat about Australia.
I caught up with a few guys, and we had lunch and a rest by a creek. We managed another 8 miles after lunch, including along a creek with multiple crossings. We camped at a nice spot by the creek with quite a few others.
24th May 2017 – 24 miles from Mile 294 to mile 318
Up early and away by 5.30am. Today’s hiking took me along a creek flowing through a canyon for many miles.
After punching out some big miles, I had a 4 hour break by the creek including a swim, a siesta and a couple of games of dice.
I let the desert heat pass before hiking another quick 8 miles in the evening. I cowboy camped under the stars by a creek with about 10 other people.
25th May 2017 – 30 miles from Mile 318 to mile 348
Big day planned – aiming to do 24 miles to get to McDonald’s!
I made good time in the cool of the morning, walking along a lake until stopping for a break at 11.30am, having covered 19 miles already.
I kept pushing on, across wind ravaged ridges. I swear the wind was carrying the scent of the Maccas fries!
I arrived at the highway at about 3pm, and saw the Golden Arches. Ate a huge amount of food – burgers, fries, soda, nuggets, thickshake and aMcFlurry to finish.
Ran into Frenchie and found out the others were not too far ahead.
In the late afternoon sun, I hiked along a few more ridges against fierce wind.
I eventually came across a big group camped out. It was pretty crowded and windy, so I headed a little further on to find a nice spot. 30 miles done!
26th May 2017 – 21 miles from Mile 348 to 369
Walked past lots of mini snow lifts and fields covered in grass.
Made it to the highway and hitched into the town of Wrightwood – just in time for a big lunch!
I organised my resupplies and made my way to a trail angel’s house where about a dozen hikers were staying. The owners had a 4 year old daughter who decided I was the guy to play with. While everyone else had beers, I ran around the yard helping her look for dinosaur bones!