Mile 314.5-345.0 (30.5)
Barking Spider here.
Yesterday we pushed miles so we could relax at the hot springs. Today we pushed to get to McDonalds to recharge our dying phones and eat heaps of food.
Early in the day, we walked along the contours of hills, occasionally dipping down to a road and inevitably climbing back up. It was very hot.
At one point we noticed two helicopters circling overhead. It seemed like they were looking for something. Then a third helicopter came out of nowhere and landed on a spot ahead of us on the trail. We found out later that a couple of day or section hikers were on the trail and one of them got bit by a rattlesnake.
The trail underwent a dramatic change in the final five miles before Cajon Pass. We climbed up to a steep sandy cliff then followed a windy narrow band of earth downhill for a mile or so until the land flattened out a bit. Suddendly we were in a quiet rocky canyon, then in the next second it spit us out next to the super busy highway. McDonalds was just up the road.
It always amazes me how many hikers are out here. At McDonalds, we hikers took up half the store and had devices charging from every outlet that was within reach.
We got to eat tons of food. I ate a Big Mac, a buffalo bacon deluxe, three fries, and three large sodas. Stretch ate a burger and a shake.
Growing restless, we got back on our feet and headed for the hills. The day didn’t cool off as much as we’d hoped and we got sweaty fast. To our pleasant surprise, the more we climbed the stronger the wind became. We found a comfortable windy spot on a ridge as the stars started to come out. We unfurled our tyvek and sleeping bags and called it a day.