PCT Day 18: Cajon Pass

Miles Hiked: 30

PCT Mileage: 347.2

At 4:45am I opened my eyes with no alarm. I lived up to my name this morning and walked out of camp at 5am. I assumed the others heard me and wouldn’t be far behind. I was on a mission today to get lunch at the Famous Mc Donald’s that was 0.4 miles off the trail at Cajon Pass. I had 24 miles to go. I didn’t use a headlamp at all this morning. It was my favorite morning on trail. I listened to all the birds wake up and watched as the sun rose and the streets in the valley got busier and busier with cars on their way to work. I was thankful I could be hiking a trail this morning and not worrying about going to work. The trail did the same thing today where it wound around the mountain side in and out of all the folds of the mountain. The terrain became less steep and more vegetation appeared. Eventually the trail started to go around a large lake where I took a long break to stretch, change, and eat breakfast at a picnic area near the shore. I kept looking back for the others to catch up. Surely they couldn’t be too far behind.

Once I saw the view down to Cajon Pass I was absolutely stunned. It was so beautiful. It was crazy to see how the trail had to wind down all the sandy hills to get to the freeway in the distance. I could see train cars going by as well which I later learned my friend Jenga was on. He just finished the Arizona Trail this week! Yesterday my left shin started hurting as if I had a shin splint. It was very painful today because I did so much downhill hiking. As the day went on I just got slower and slower because it hurt so bad. I was worried. When I got to the highway I was so stoked. It was 1:45 pm and I did most of the hiking I needed to do. Before I even got to Mc Donald’s I placed an order on the mobile app since the indoors are closed and we can’t walk thru a drive thru. I ordered a large ice coffee, 8 chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce, a medium french fry, and a large doctor pepper.

When I walked up to Mc Donald’s there was a large crowd of hikers outside waiting for food. I was glad I had already placed my order. Here I ran into Gaurdian who hiked a few hundred miles with my sister when she did some of the AT in 2019. It was good to see him! I know Emma has been waiting for us to run into each other so we took a picture and sent it to her. I hung out with Gaurdian and the other hikers in a grassy spot outside. My McDonald’s tasted so good! At Mc Donald’s I also ran into Lost Boy who we met in Big Bear and have been wondering where he got off to. He ended up hanging out with me for the rest of the day. After Mc Donald’s I got a large fruit container with Mango, Water Melon, Pineapple and Tajin from a little fruit stand in front of the gas station next door. It was delicious. I iced my shins with my left over drink ice and charged up my devices while I waited for the others to show up. It was almost two hours later before the first one did. I was surprised they ended up getting out of camp significantly later than me. I called my friend Carly/ Trail Diva while I was at Mc Donald’s. I found out she was only one day ahead of me. I looked in my food bag and realized I wouldn’t have to buy much from the gas station next door to skip the next town and catch up to her. I was excited! When I told the others they were all sad about me leaving. I was too but I really want to see my friend and felt like I could catch up to her soon.

I ended up hanging out at Mc Donald’s for almost six hours today while my things charged. I was going to walk across the highway to Subway with the others until Rainbow told me they were leaving soon and the walk over was harrowing anyways. He ended up bringing me a veggie sandwich to save me the trouble which was super nice! By the time we all hiked out together it was almost dark and it was cold. I hiked 5.5 more miles to camp at a water source with Angus, Rainbow, Cam, Dirt Magnet, and Lost Boy. It was fun to night hike in a group together. We arrived at camp near 10pm and all found spaces to cowboy camp. It was quite a busy site and we were trying to be quiet about it. My shin did feel better on the hike out. Today my sun burn from deep creek also bothered me a lot as well. My forehead hurt to move and my back felt like it was burning when I went to sleep. It was another cold night.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Published by Deserrae Potts

Thru Hiker Blogger

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