After another twelve more days of camping we are ready for a break! Passed the 500 mile marker this segment and have done an impressive (for me at least) +104901/-105810 ft of elevation gain/loss since we started. I’m sure that stat will skyrocket in the Sierras…
Day 26 – After a lazy morning in Wrightwood and many cups of coffee, we headed back to the trail and up Mount Baden-Powell – a solid 38 switchbacks. Good weather all day – sun, shade, and a cool breeze. Camped a few miles past the summit spur trail, near Mount Burnham, at mile 379.5.
Day 27 – Started out the day hiking along the ridge, eventually dropping down to Hwy 2 for a ~5 mile road walk due to trail closure. After taking the Buckhorn Trail back to the PCT we hiked another mile or so to Cooper Canyon Camp, at mile 395.2.
Day 28 – Started out the day with ~10 miles of shaded trail with many vistas… and road crossings. Thankfully, the Angeles Crest Highway is pretty low traffic. The afternoon brought us through more burn area with tons of poodle dog bush – more in this segment than any we’ve hiked yet. We eventually descended down to the Mill Creek Fire Station area and camped nearby, at mile 418.5.
Day 29 – Started out the day at around 6:15am with some awesome trail magic – hot coffee, McMuffins, and apple fritters right to the rest area we were camped by. Nothing like some extra calories and caffeine to start the day! Good weather all morning and afternoon, walked through burn areas in various stages. Another day filled with poodle dog bush and poison oak on the trail, but we rain into a trail crew working on removing it. Arrived early afternoon at the North Fork Ranger Station where we camped, mile 436.1.
Day 30 – Stopped at the Acton KOA just off trail for some breakfast ice cream then hiked into Agua Dulce. Cool and sunny, no more shade on the trail – back to the desert. After some pizza and salad, we camped at Hiker Heaven, a famous landmark just on the edge of town. Nice to have a shower and wash the socks! Amazing and generous hosts. Mile 454.5.
Day 31 – After a lazy morning in Hiker Heaven, we walked back into Agua Dulce and grabbed some delicious food at “Homemade.” After a cool, cloudy, and rainy ~12 mile walk back into the hills, we camped at mile 465.9.
Day 32 – Woke up in the clouds, and packed up wet. Walked a good 12 miles to Green Valley and got a ride into town. Unbeknownst to us, there was a cafe in town and we promptly got all the hot food we could eat. After stocking up on a few more meals/snacks at the store nearby, we dried out our gear in the sun and headed back to the trail. After 8 or so more miles we camped in a valley at mile 485.7.
Day 33 – Partly cloudy and cool today, with a decent wind. Made it to the 500 mile marker! Or a few of them at least – there’s the official one, then the 500th mile according to Guthook/Hilemile apps. Then whatever our personal 500th mile is/was, figuring in a fire reroute and some other blue blazing. Saw a sand storm off in the distance. Interesting rainwater bin as a water source – we skipped the previous one as it had a decomposing fox (?) in it. By late afternoon we were ready to camp and found a sunny but breezy site at mile 503.
Day 34 – Easy ~15 miles in the morning through woods and down into the desert. Stopped at Hiker Town, a unique hostel and refuge from the heat for the afternoon. After picking up a few more days of food and a couple hot meals at the nearby market, we had a couple drinks and set out on the aqueduct. Nice to see the sunset followed by some stars as we hiked the flat water way. Camped by the aqueduct at mile 529.3.
Day 35 – Slept in a little then hiked to Tylerhorse Canyon, the last water before our hitch into Tehachapi. Biggest water carry yet personally, at 5.5L. After a few more miles in the evening, we camped at mile 545.1.
Day 36 – Hiked for a bit early morning then stopped at what shade we could find for the now routine afternoon siesta. Pushed another 7 or so miles early evening, then camped amongst the wind turbines at mile 562. Only a couple miles to go until town! Looking forward to some coffee, breakfast, a shower, and laundry.
Day 37 – Nice sunrise view from the tent. A quick four miles more of windfarm and we were at the highway. A friendly gentleman was already there stocking a water cache with a couple gallons and happily drove us to our hotel. Relaxing today in town and taking our second zero day here in Tehachapi, officially at mile 566.4 of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Note: the WordPress app on iOS is pretty buggy, especially with longer posts containing more than a few images. Due to this I am no longer able to caption images. Please excuse this and any other weird formatting errors! And WordPress, please let me submit bug reports via your iOS app.
5/23 Update: WordPress has released an update to their app and we are able to caption images again! Thank you!