Day 18

19.5 miles hiked

329.5 total

Got woken up almost immediately after sleeping by Lester who was looking for a spot.  The other guy said there was only space for one.  So Lester just puts his gear down anyway and moves the guy’s gear, almost snuggling with him.  Uh….

What I am really worried about is the snoring, but it’s windy enough, and enough bullfrogs are croaking that I can’t distinguish which is which.  I wake up again around 3:30 when Lester passes me on the trail.

“How’d you sleep?”  I ask my friend?

“Not much, he’s really loud!  Also he shined a flashlight directly in my face about 3 times at 3am.”

What a special one, that Lester.

Well, again today the issue is: where to stop.  If I hike too many miles I don’t think I will want to eat McDonald’s.  I need the hiker hunger to even consider it.

Around 9 I run into Lester at a water source maybe 8 miles down the trail.  He has gear everywhere, is boiling water, seems perturbed.

“How’s ya doin’ there?”  I ask.  “Is the new pack ok?”

“Yeah, the pack, well, it’s alright, but you know, you fix one thing, the next thing breaks.”  Apparently his water filter broke.  He was upset because it cost him over $100, one of those giant ceramic pump ones.  He’s upset because no one will give him tablets or a spare filter.  I just don’t get it, it’s hard to feel sorry for him because if he did any research at all he’d have seen that the Sawyer filters are much cheaper, lighter, and foolproof, and that almost everyone uses them, and no one brings a backup filter.  I let him use my filter for a few minutes but have to go after that.

Ok.  Well, as the day heats up I slow way down.  Shoulda had more water, am I near the source?  Aaaaannnd, trail magic!  My first real one of the trail, your old school woods-stashed cooler.  A group of 4 of us congregate around it: Reroute, Clive, and the other guy I forget his name.  The boys want to go to Cajon Pass TONIGHT.  It’s 1ish, we did like 13 miles, 17 to go.  I feel I could mayyyybe do it but it would be rough and the next day it would be hard to get up early which I will need to do for the giant uphill with 30 miles no water maybe?  Plus a big waste to only stay in the hotel a few hours, I like to get my money’s worth.

Thus psyched out I push on.  It is hottttttt!  And dry.  So much overgrown trail and poison oak, why?  Isn’t this section one of the most travelled in SoCal?  I go around Silverwood Lake where it’s a madhouse for Memorial Day.  Families of every background are there, it’s awesome.  I see the others under the shade of the pavilion, there’s also a white trash family, some Mexicans and Dominicans with huge speads.  An Indian family where most of the women have kurtas on asks an Armenian family if they have a knife they can borrow; they don’t.  I successfully yogi some barbequed chicken from the Armenians, I think they feel sorry for me as I passed out for siesta.

Finally I go the extra mile+ to the last Silverwood picnic site.  It’s actually not by the lake at all, and deserted.  But it does have running water, and shaded picnic tables, and working outlets, I’m done.  What to do, what to do, it’s not even 5.

I finish Finding Everett Ruess on the audio book.  Another hiker comes and really wants pizza.  I acquiesce, ordering a cheeseless one with about 8 toppings.  Another hiker comes, she hates cheese also!  Yay, we can share.  I leave one slice for breakfast and pull my fleece over my eyes to block out the lights, and pass out.


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