Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 19 (6/5) What a Wonderful World

Today the rest of the wolfpack was headed in to Wrightwood, so I was on my own again. Toby and Sprinkles were out around 5:45, and Noah followed around 6:30. I was out around 7:15, and didn’t catch up with any of them all day. It was nice to be on my own pace and not terribly concerned about making mileage or hitting a certain place by a certain time. I’m still in the mode of developing my trail legs and I’ve promised myself I won’t worry about the schedule until at least the first month is over, and even then probably not until I made it through the worst of the snow in the Sierras. This was a gorgeous day, with blue skies, and white clouds, which made me think of the Louis Armstrong song, “What a Wonderful World”. That was looping in my head for a good couple hours as I made my way around Mount Baldy (Mount San Antonio) and towards Mount Baden Powell, which I would summit tomorrow. The goal was to get to the very base of the mountain this evening so I could start right away with the climb. As it was, that didn’t quite happen.

First, I took a nice hour and a half break for lunch and a nap, which put me back on the day a little bit. Then, as I neared 15 miles for the day, the wind started kicking up and clouds started rolling in like crazy. The temperature plummeted, and I had to layer up and put on my gloves. As dinner approached, was coming in around 20 miles and ran into Rawhide, sheltered down in a beautiful bowl, nestled between some trees under his tarp. We chatted for a bit before I walked on further to the ranger station where I picked up more water. It was here that I soaked my gloves while filling up, so I swapped those out for heavy socks. I needed a sheltered spot to fire up my stove, so I set up right next to the wall of the outhouse - not my finest moment, but I’m not so picky anymore. As I was huddled there cooking dinner, I saw a guy jump out of a car and run over to me. It was Detour, who I’d met yesterday. He offered me some venison, steak and cheese, which I gladly accepted. That was all it took to end my hiking for the night, and I camped right there with Detour and Broken Toe, now renamed King Toot. I was about 4 miles shy of the goal for the day, but it was threatening rain so I was glad to set up the tent and call it a night.

Miles Today: 20
Total Mileage: 370

Photo: Mount Baldy

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