Day 25
Miles 353.9 to 369

We are halfway done with the desert, I realized while hiking today, though except for a day or two, the first half really did not make me feel like we were desert hiking. Today, for example, felt like we were back in Washington hiking through Teanaway. The pines, the familiar smell of sun hitting the dry dirt, occasional snow patch on our way. The only thing missing were morrels, darn it.

The trail had us climbing again. The climb was probably just as steep as yesterday but unlike yesterday the visibility was fabulous and the nature revealed all the great views… and also the long uphill stretches ahead of us that grew longer behind every corner. 

After the first ten miles, we arrived at a campground where few fellow hikers camped last night. One of them had an cougar encounter in the morning, the cat sniffed around her tent for a while before disappearing back into the woods, and just as she was telling the story, forest service ranger showed up who was of Native American descent and for a long time we discussed the experience and the journeys everybody is going through on the trail. It was a good, thought provoking conversation.

Five miles later we arrived at Hwy 2, where we were supposed to hitch to Wrightwood. Hitching was never so easy. We received a trail magic from a lady whose husband hikes the trail and she trail angels around the area he hikes, and at the same time we received an offer of ride from a very nice gentleman from Temecula who had to step off the trail due to a heart condition and was just dropping his son off at the trail so that he could continue his hike.

We didn’t accomplish much at Wrightwood today, except for taking a shower and feeding ourselves on decently good pizza, and having couple beers with Dumbledore, hiker from LA with whom we camped last night. 

Planning and all the other fun stuff will have to wait till tomorrow.