Thirty one miles was the goal of today in order to make it into Wrightwood in two days. Thus I got up at 3:30 am to start hiking. Saw a deer in the distance. Probably explained some weird animal noises I had heard the previous night. I had thought that the noise could have been mountain lions, but I don’t know if they are found here in the Inland Empire region of California. Luckily my ankle pains of yesterday were completely gone. The first stretch was easy going tagging along a crest with not much up and down. Next I got to a “Silverwood Lake”, which was a water reservoir. Near it there were a gazillion minuscule insects flying around unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. When the wind blew they moved in unison making a strange hissing noise with their wing flapping. They didn’t bother, but I might have inhaled a couple through my nose. There were also a group of very large birds, but I don’t know the species. Later i got to a recreational area at the lake and finally had cellular service again so I was able to call and wish my mom a slightly late happy birthday. I’d say 60% of the time there’s no signal.
Next part of the trail was less interesting, but then the landscape changed suddenly with hill tops and steep drop offs. The trail was right at the crest, so I was glad to also have my trekking poles to gad stability and guard against the strong gusts of wind.
Eventually we got to a point where the trail crossed an Interstate Road next to Cajon Pass. In walking distance of that was a McDonald’s. The short stretch of asphalt road was actually part of the historical Route 66, but was now home to a couple of people living on the edge of the society. A person was very obviously living in a car parked at some distance to all the other ones looking like it had not been driven for quite some time. Further, there was a permanent tent overlooking the Interstate and two empty wheelchairs next to it. Never mind that though McD was the main attraction. That’d normally not be something that I would be excited about, but with the hiker hunger, it was an altogether different story. Let’s just say I really ate a lot. A couple of years ago there was a dude who resupplied for a 90 mile stretch from McD. However much I enjoyed this short visit to McD, I ‘d found that must have been awful.
I had planned to go on hiking for an additional five miles, but there was a nearby Best Western with swimming pool and a hot tub, and I had already done 26 miles so there went my original plan. Mads of tomorrow will have to deal with the consequences of that. Walked out of McD with a handful of burgers and a McFlurry. I then walked the ~1.5 miles in a weird area next to the highway in a rather weird place, but better than trying to cross it by foot. Relaxing in the hotels pool area was really nice, even though you could hear and see all the nearby traffic in the background. Spoke to a girl who had done the Appalachian Trail, which is one of the other two major long distance trails in the US. Seems like there’s a lot more going on there socially, but not nearly as much in terms of scenic beauty.