Day 21: Angeles Crest Highway

Miles Hiked: 31.4

Total Mileage: 415.1

This morning I left Little Jimmy Spring at 5:30am. I was hoping to leave at 5 but I didn’t sleep well last night and it was hard to get going. I was able to see a good sunrise as I walked out of camp. The first thing I did today was climb up and over Mount Williamson. I was surprised by how sore my legs felt despite feeling fresh yesterday. Baden Powell was a big climb and I’m glad I was able to break these two climbs up into two different days . Mount Williamson was covered in super dry dusty soil and hardly any vegetation. There were steep drop offs from the side of the trail and I was conscious to not skip and fall. I took the downhill very slow. I felt a little ache in my left shin but it wasn’t bad at all. I crossed the Angeles Crest Highway back and forth all day. It reminded me of the blue ridge parkway or skyline drive on the AT. I was thinking to myself that it would be a good place to come back and do trail magic. It seems like a really popular recreation spot for locals. There were campgrounds and day use picnic tables everywhere along the Highway. I looked it up and it is 66 miles long. The middle portion gets closed seasonally for the snow pack to melt. This year there is probably no snow anywhere along the road. The last and only snow Ive seen for a while was way up high near 9k feet on Baden Powell. I was glad the road wasn’t too busy today because I had to do a five mile road walk to go around an area of the trail closed to protect an endangered species of frog known as the mountain yellow legged frog. I was dreading the roadwalk but I found that it wasn’t bad at all. I took a break at a nice campground right before the detour connected back to the PCT. There was a really nice cold flowing stream I wanted to stop and soak my legs in but it was still chilly in the early morning so I continued on.

Today I listened to more of The Hobbit audio book I am almost finished with and some backpacker radio episodes as well. It eventually did get hotter than it has been in a while but not too bad. Today I ran into all sorts of new hikers that I haven’t seen before. Most of these people seemed to have started about five days or more before me. The water carries were relatively far but not bad when the sources were really nice!

After hiking 22 miles I sat down to take an hour long break at 3pm. Angus finally passed me and we chatted for a bit and planned to hike the last four miles to camp together after we would meet back up at the next water source. I find that I really enjoy getting out of camp before my hiking partners and having the whole morning to myself. I really like ending the day and hiking the last few miles to camp with a friend! Angus moved on while I continued my break.

When I continued on from my break I ran into trail magic 0.5 miles later. Of course I had to stop! There were two TV actors from LA who had chairs all set up, music playing, cold drinks in a cooler, and snacks! Although I was stoked about the trail magic, at that point my shin was hurting so bad I was dying for a bucket of ice to plunge my left leg in. After hanging out with them for a while Angus and I hiked the last four miles to camp together after meeting up at the next water source. Right when we got to camp in a wide open flat spot with beautiful sunset views, I sat down and said I wasn’t getting up again. I took off my socks and shoes and realized my left shin and ankle was swollen. Red flags started going off. I didn’t feel tired from the day at all but my shin was definitely hurting very bad. Angus and I hung out and ate dinner together as the sun set. We camped with three other hikers. I knew I wanted to get to town tomorrow so I could take a zero day and start resting. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with my shin but I knew tomorrow was going to hurt.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

Published by Deserrae Potts

Thru Hiker Blogger

One thought on “Day 21: Angeles Crest Highway

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