PCT mm 387.8 – The big climb out of town


Whispy clouds in the next valley.

I purposely slept in late so I could catch breakfast at the coffee shop and wait to here from Aaron to see if he found my shades or not.  If he found them, I would stick around until he got in, otherwise I’d head out.  I chatted with my host a few minutes then headed to town for vittles.  It was a five block walk to The Grind.  Town was mostly dead, there were only two others in the shop and no other shops were open.

I ordered an oatmeal and bagel along with my coffee.  All three were great.  I realized after I ate that I was still hungry.  I should not have skipped dinner.  I ordered a breakfast sandwich and honey bun as well.  They were also good, but I saved half the sandwich to pack out for lunch.

The Grind had many photo albums of hikers they had taken pictures of over the years.  I thumbed through them while waiting and saw some interesting faces.  I was hoping to see a hiker that I had met on the AT, but no such luck.  I noticed one guy in a red vest showed up in multiple year albums, sometimes solo, sometimes with another hiker.  He was a red headed white guy with dreadlocks – he stood out.  [Post hike: I DID end up meeting this guy later at Kennedy Meadows – and mentioned seeing him in the photo albums.]

I headed back and packed up and went back to the hardware store to hitch.   I tried to make eye contact with every driver that passed by to increase my odds of getting one to stop.

Most of the cars passing by were Sunday-going-to-church-I’m-too-dressed-up-to-pick-up-vagrants drivers with their families, so I was worried it might be a hard hitch out of town.

This one also took 30-45 minutes and the guy who picked me up also turned around to come get me.  He also wanted to talk about the trail.

Ponderosa pines leading up to Mt Baden Powell – named after the founder of the Boy Scouts.

The trail out from town was more of the same as yesterday – ponderosa pines.  About five miles in we hit the approach to mount Baden Powel, named after the founder of The Boy Scouts.  My host had told me there were 40 switchbacks during our chat this morning, so I started counting them right from the trail head.  Part way up another hiker said there were 42.  I was determined to see who was right.  I counted the segments all the way to the peak and came up with 41, so I think my host was right – there are 40 switchbacks up that bugger.

Still a long way from Canada.

The trail was crowded, too.  There were perhaps 40 cars in the parking area.  I passed at least 50 people on the way up, and was passed by no one.  I’m starting to get my legs.  I also got a text from Aaron while on top – he could not find my sunglasses, booo.

The view from Mt Baden Powell.

The view up at the top was nice, but not spectacular.  I had heard there are great views of Los Angeles, but the entire coastline was undercast, so all I saw were the tops of clouds and the mountains 5-10 miles away..

Sunset from Mt Wilson.

About a half an hour after getting up there, Peter from Poland showed up.  He is now officially Peter pan.  We hiked most of the afternoon together and are both camped on Mt Wilson, but on different sides.  It is very cold and windy up here.  I was cold while making dinner but the bag is keeping me toasty.  We shall see how cold I am in the morning, though.

1 Comment

  1. Harriett Dame

    June 14, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Gosh, it is so beautiful out there. I LOVE your pictures. Sorry about your sunglasses. Hope you can find another suitable pair before long. Karen and I have written back and forth a time or two. Have a great day today! One great day after another for my boy.

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