Big Bear saw a change in the group, as Fourth Wave departed our stink bubble to attend mock graduation ceremonies, set up only so Elie could shower and eat lobster rolls, fish and chips and cheese plates.
The other change came in the form of our muscles. Our legs evolved from sexual, shapely loveliness (Henley’s legs at least) to lean, steely weapons of trekking.
Our daily mileage increased from the 17s to the early 20s, as we bust out the 291 miles from Big Bear to Tehachapi in a touch over 14 days. This included some casual time spent with the Angels but, most importantly, a solid morning in a motorway service station.
Cajon Pass offers something that every hiker is talking about during the 50 mile build up, the Maccy Ds. It was agreed by all, the trick is to get there at around 9:30ish so you can order and eat breakfast, then wait and digest for a short while, before ordering off of the main menu. It is known.
We gave ourselves a smooth 7 mile hike to the Golden Arches, in order to build up somewhat of an appetite. With Grace running the last half mile, we knew we were in for an excitable few hours.
We all ordered way too much and caught up with trail buddies old and new. A jolly time was had by all but, come 1 in the afternoon when the sun is working hardest to fry your skin, we felt uneasy not hiking, and made our way out in to the desert.
Powered by mcgriddles, mcnuggets and mcCoffee, we hit the climbs with a gusto never before found in our fellowship. With the full moon welcoming us as the sun dropped, we hiked in to the eerie night, guided by our moonlit shadows.
With the Maccers in our bellies, we hiked an extra 20 miles that day. We were loving it.
Elie missed a prime bit of PCT real estate. With the Trail Angels and the McDonalds, we also started making friends. Like, proper friends.
SlowShow and the other genial members of The Leisure Tour are some of the most welcome sights along the trail. The Lads, spearheaded by SadFish (sorry other Lads) never fail to make us laugh, especially when they’re doling out the Natty Lights.
I don’t have enough space to talk about the greatness that is Hopscotch, the loveliness that is Blue Butterfly or the addictive strangeness that is ManBearPig, but we love them.
And, apart from a load of walking and some buying of egg breakfasts, that was miles 275 through 566. They were some wonderful miles. I also got naked in some hot springs and Ladypants fell, quite spectacularly, off of the trail.
Thank you kindly for your attention. Elie should be along shortly with a blog much more artfully penned.