Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 7,293 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 13.1 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 370.3 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 60s/70s
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 2
Hit the trail about 7:30, and for being at over 6,000 feet, it was already surprisingly warm, probably in the mid 70s.
Katana was making tracks once again. My enjoyment level of the hike goes up 200% when she is motivated to walk. I know this desert section hasn’t been easy for her, which in turn has made it more challenging for me. She hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, and never had so much as one issue with her paws; granted, 90% of that trail is soft earth, mud, grass, large rocks, roots, leaves, and pinestraw. This desert section of the PCT has been mostly broken up rock, and coarse, gritty sand with no shortage of oddly shaped pebbles mixed in. I’m sure the little dog has tender feet at the end of each day, and even more tender feet in the morning. I can’t wait to put the desert behind us, if nothing but for her sake. I’ve been rubbing hydrocortisone on her paws every night to moisturize, disinfect, and numb any sore spots. I have booties, as well as mush wax waiting for us in about 87 miles. I’m solely focused on getting to those items, giving Katana a day to rest, then making a good push to finish up the last couple hundred miles of desert that we’ll have left.
The best sight today was from 8,000 feet up. We were thousands of feet above the clouds, and could see a sea of them being held back by a thin range of mountains. To the east was the city of San Bernardino, sprawled out in the valley, enjoying a perfectly cloudless day. To the west of that thin range of mountains was…who knows what, but they were having quite the overcast day, whoever they were. Very interesting to see how big a part the mountains played in the local weather, from a heavenly vantage point.
We made it to the road into Wrightwood a little after 1 pm, then a little after 2pm, caught a ride with one of Mason’s friends, who happened to be in the area, picking up someone from LAX later today. He gave us a ride to the grocery store, then to a local eatery called Grizzly Cafe, then back to the trail.
We ended up hiking another mile before reaching a gorgeous pine Grove. It was nearly 5 pm when we got here, so we decided to call it a day. We’re pretty high up, so it’s bound to get a little chilly; all the more reason to be thankful for my long johns, and replacement sleeping bag.
The goal is to hike around 20 miles, give or take, each day. We’re not making any promises to ourselves, because you never know when you might find something truly fantastic. My only hope is that Katana’s little paws hang tough until we can get them some more reinforcements…