Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Start: Highway 2 crossing, Mile 369.3, 7365 ft
Finish: Highway 2 crossing, Mile 369.3, 7365 ft
Daily Miles: 0.0 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 369.3
Weather: Warm and sunny
Accommodation: Canyon Creek Inn
Breakfast: Chilli Omelette, hash browns and toast and jam
Lunch: Reuben sandwich
Dinner: Enchilada Ranchero and ice cream
Highlight: Solving my photo transfer problem
Lowlight: Determining that my tablet computer micro-USB port is faulty
Pictures: Click here (all photos now available here)
Map: Click here for Google Map
It got very cold overnight and in the morning my tent was covered in ice crystals, inside and out. Given my plan was to hitch-hike into Wrightwood, 5 miles away, for breakfast I didn’t feel any pressure to get up as early as usual. The Post Office, where I had some packages waiting, would not open until 9am and I was unlikely to be able to get into my booked room until early afternoon. In the end I got up at 7am, just after the sun hit my tent and the ice crystals began to melt and fall on everything inside. This required quickly getting everything out of the tent before it got wet and then packing the tent away wet (I ended up drying out my tent and sleeping bag later in my room).
Anyway, the packing process was over by 8am and I wandered down to the highway where a number of PCT hikers who had spent the night in Wrightwood were being dropped off to resume their hike. It was a beautiful morning and the scenery was great from the trailhead which was at Inspiration Point on the Angeles Crest Highway. To the west, far below, stretched out cloud cover that hid Los Angeles and to the east could be seen desert disappearing into the distance. The hitch-hiking was not so great, with just one car, which did not stop, going in my direction in 45 minutes, but it was no hardship standing in the warming sunshine admiring the view while I waited. Then, a van emerged from a nearby forest road and the driver, a girl who had been car-camping in the forest and who had hiked the PCT last year, gave me a lift into the very pretty ski village of Wrightwood.
After some breakfast I picked up my mail, including my “bounce box” which I plan to mail ahead to myself every three weeks. It contained my mobile phone from Australia for which I now have a US SIM card, and which I plan to now use for navigation, as does everybody else, using the Guthook application. It took me a while to set up but I was successful in the end as I sat on the deck of a town cafe. The box also contained some needed new socks and spare tips for my Leki trekking poles, along with hardcopy maps for the remaining sections.
I also had delivered some tech gear that I hoped would overcome the problem of transferring photos from my camera to my tablet, but nothing would work, and I couldn’t find any other solutions online. In the end, I had a brainwave and worked out that I should be able to use the same gear to transfer photos from my camera to my mobile phone and load them to Google drive that way. Not perfect, but workable.
The rest of the day was spent doing the usual town stuff – food shopping and repacking, planning, email, mail. It was nice meeting Octane again (at the PO), and farewelling Innana, the girl from SF I had met intermittently over the last two weeks who was finishing her section hike here, and then later bumping into DrumSolo and some other hikers I had hung out with in Julian, two weeks ago. The latter arrived in town late in the day and invited me to join them for dinner at the local Mexican restaurant, which I later did. We had a very pleasant meal catching up on our trail adventures. They are travelling in a group of about eight, camping in the same place each night, but not always travelling together during the day.
Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, and the wi-fi seemed to go offline at the Inn where I am staying at about 9:00pm scuppering any plans I had for quickly uploading my belated photos (there’s no front desk to complain to). It’s done now and you can go back day by day to look at them or click here to see all those taken so far.
I was hoping to have an early breakfast in town tomorrow before hitch-hiking back to the trail, but it will be a bit later now that it’s midnight and I’m just finishing sorting out the blog photos. But that’s OK, I’m still very much on schedule.