Where the abandoned Route 66 crosses through Cajon pass, nirvana awaits.


I slept in a bit then headed out about 6 and visited with everyone as I passed them.  Everyone was focused on McDonalds.  I was trying to get there after 10:30 but it was just too hard to go slow.  And I tried.  I dilly-dallied and checked out all the views and scaled down a steep slope to retrieve a mylar balloon (second of the trip).  Much of the terrain was extremely steep and extremely crumbly rock.  I was surprised how close they took us to the edge.  I would not be wanting to ride a horse.

Robin gets close to the edge – it’s a few hundred feet down.

We did end up getting to McDonalds at 10:00 so I broke down and ordered a parfait and an orange juice and a coke.  That held me over for 30 minutes until lunch started.  I found an outlet to charge devices and got the phone and battery pack pretty full.  Then lunch was a double quarter pounder with fries and a shake.  We were there until 1 and I must have had eight cokes in that time.  I have never had that much coke before but they just kept going down smoothly.

Ice cream for dessert in the desert.

Both arriving and leaving McDonald’s we could get a great view of Canon pass.  The interstate is split and two double mainline freight tracks go straight up it.  All the trains had for or five engines on the front and some in the middle or rear.  From my campsite I can see the interstate and it’s steady stream of traffic to and from Barstow CA.

The climb out of town is 27 miles without water and 5000 ft of climb.  Cloud cover cooler things off a bit, but it was still a hot climb out.  I took a short break at about 5 miles out and think I left my sunglasses there.  I did not notice it until I was about 10 miles past, and actually dumped my pack and ran about 4 miles back to a second spot where Robin and I stopped later.  As silly as it sounds, running without a pack felt good.

I am camped somewhere in the middle of that backtracking and contemplating running farther down in the am to where I think I left them.  Another hiker (Tule) came by as I was about to settle down for the night and texted to two other hikers who have not come up yet.  I don’t know if I should cross my fingers and rely on them, or suck it up and run an extra 14 miles.  And did I mention I’m on limited water…  It’s going to be a long night thinking about it.

The really funny thing is that I found a pair of sunglasses as I started backtracking to look for my prescription glasses that I left at a rest stop earlier in the day.  The trail provides exactly what you need exactly when you need it.

The sunglasses I found are not prescription.  I’m not totally hosed, but I wear mine ten hours a day and have grown quite accustomed to having them.  I’ll keep asking around if anyone has run across them.  I am just very fortunate to not have to continue through the desert without sunglasses.  The desert reflects a lot of light and are pretty much required equipment for me.

Cajon pass is a constant stream of cars all night long. This is the main route into the Los Angeles valley. They sleep less than New York, apparently.