Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wrightwood to Agua Dulce

Wrightwood treated us very well. We're incredibly grateful for the kindness of the Hadaways who "invited us" into their home for showers and laundry, and they drove us back to the market and the trail! They were very curious about our quest and we're always happy to answer questions, especially over a beer on a sunny front porch.
Once back on the trail, we started a steep climb up Mt. Baden Powell named for the founder of the boy scouts. Since it was Memorial Day Weekend, there were plenty of day hikers on the trail with us. We camped on one of the few flatish spots about a mile from the summit, making for a pleasant morning climb and some dramatic views. There's a tree on the summit that's about 1,500 years old!
The day was full of ups and downs, and at some point I tweaked one of the muscles in my left quad. I still made it through the day with some stiffness. We had another visit with Dave and all the edible goodies that he shares and also had a detour along the road to avoid an area where an endangered toad mates. The next morning, however, my leg revolted and we had to stop after 5 miles. It was a hard decision and a frustrating day. Chris got lost during a solo day hike he took while burning off some steam. He finds it especially hard to sit still all day.
But the rest did me well! With some help from Vitamin I (ibuprofen) we were able to churn out some long, subsequent days. One day we did 23.6 miles, camping at a nice shady spot under the pine trees. The other day we did 22.6 and camped at an ATV road along a ridge. It feels good to put in some long miles and I'm relieved that my leg issue resolved. A little rest goes a long way!
So, we cruised into Agua Dulce yesterday morning and, of course, our first stop was the local breakfast joint. Chris had a beer with his eggs. I had pancakes, surprise, surprise. The amazing part of this spot are the trail angels who host dozens of hikers at a time, the Saufley's. They wash all the hikers' laundry and give loaner clothes and flip flops in the process. They have a tent city in their back yard complete with cots that sleep 50. As a couple, Chris and I got to sleep
in a horse trailer separated from the masses who stayed up into the wee hours around the campfire. Free phones, internet and music blaring from 7am through 10pm. Amazing!
The other fabulous part of our "nearo" day -near zero miles walked- was sorting through all our mail. Sunny and Jen & Jon sent welcome updates and greetings from back east. Ryan sent a celebratory package of cigars and White Russian fixings in honor of our progress and making it to L.A. Wahoo! The treats made for a very fun afternoon. Sean and Carla sent a plethora of useful items: a Camelback (awesome!), candy and plenty of nips. Hmmmm.....all that alcohol....what do our friends think of us? Wish you guys were here to party with us. We also got an amazing re-supply box from my parents with our expected ramen, couscous, vitamins and such plus some edibles surprises.
We are so lucky! Thanks for the thoughtful notes and goodies. It means so much to have contact with our loved ones at home. Sometimes the crusty trail feels very far away, we miss you.
Now, onward to the desert.......
Emily ( and Chris)

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