Wrightwood(369.3) to Little Jimmy Campground(383.9) 14.6 Miles
Today didn't go exactly the way I had planned. I wanted to get out of town early, but that did not happen. Somebody set their alarm for 4:10 this morning. They didn't get up that early, but unfortunately I could not go back to sleep afterwords. The majority of the group was up by 5:30, but we didn't leave Kathy's house until 9:30. I'm still not sure what we did all morning.
After leaving Kathy's we went to the bakery for breakfast and then sat around talking with other hikers. Around 10:00 I was done waiting for everyone else. I was just getting ready to hitch back to the trail by myself when Amanda and Sasha offered me a ride with a trail angel they stayed with last night. I didn't get back to the trail any earlier this way, but our driver Rueben was entertaining.
I didn't start hiking today until 11 am. We had a very difficult Appalachian Trail like climb today. With the late start I felt pressured to hike as fast as possible to make our daily miles. Mount Baden Powell was no joke. I am absolutely worn out. We gained 2,600 feet of elevation in just under four miles. I was hoping to finish the climb in two hours, but I managed to finish a little faster than that.
Mount Baden Powell was amazing. I enjoyed the climb more than I thought I would. I was really dreading it beforehand, but it was a challenging and beautiful hike. As to my original question, Who the heck is Robert Baden Powell? For the benefit of those of you who didn't google the answer, he was a British general and the founder of the modern Boy Scouts.
Just before reaching the summit I was really struggling to catch my breath. As soon as I hit 7,500' I start to struggle with the lack of oxygen. The summit was at 9,406'. It wasn't the highest peak I've climbed so far, but it is the highest in the pct to date.
Yoda, Sasha, Evac, Amanda, Outro, Spacemen, Warren, Hawkeye
We spent about an hour relaxing and enjoying the view. It was almost 3 and we still had six more difficult miles to go. On the way down from the summit we passed the "Wally Tree". It is a tree that is estimated to be 1,500 years old. It was pretty neat to see.
We hiked past a few areas that were still covered in snow. Today was great hiking weather. It was slightly cool out, but while I was hiking I was comfortable. Two weeks ago the summit still had a lot of snow. Now it was just tiny patches we cut across.
The remaining five miles were predominantly downhill. By the time I made it into camp my legs were shot. We are camped in a backcountry campground which had a few amenities such as picnic tables, pit toilets, and fire rings. It is cold enough tonight that a fire is fantastic. Before we decided to start one, I roamed around warming up at complete strangers fires. By the time we started ours it was already nine o'clock. After getting almost no sleep last night all I wanted was my sleeping bag. While I'm writing this Evac, Outro, Warren, and Hawkeye are sitting next to a fire drinking beers and listening to music with some locals.
I'm hoping to get up early and make some miles. Early in the day I have a long road walk due to an endangered species detour. Some type of toad is causing a 5.8 mile section of the trail to be closed. We can either hike 26 miles of trail to get around the closure or hike a seven mile road detour. I choose the road.
There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don't miss so many of them.