Mile 356 – 13 Pacific Crest Trail Miles, 1.9 wandering miles
I woke up knowing today would be a tough start. It was cold and windy and because we had cowboy camped I did not have the tent to block the wind. At some point I just stood up, removed my sleeping clothes, and put on my hiking clothes. It was a very cold one minute process!
We had 13 miles and a few thousand feet to climb before hitting Wrightwood a small hiker friendly ski resort type town along the trail. It was freezing cold with crazy wind. The plan was to pick up our resupply boxes and stay in town for the night. Pizza, beer, a surprise care package and a real bed was just the motivation I needed to get up and moving early.
The wind was cold and fierce as we made our way up but the smell of pines and views were grand. Backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail on days like this is the perfect balance of endurance, pain, and beauty. My body is telling me to stop and take a break, my mind is telling me to keep going to see the next view or grouping of trees, my alter ego was telling me to get to town to relax.
Almost to Wrightwood we walked through a ski resort. It’s strange to walk under ski lifts and impossible not to wish for them to start up to give us a ride down. Just as we were hitting the highway we watched someone drop off two hikers. Our hopes were high that we may score a quick ride. Not to be disappointed this lovely couple asked us “do you need a ride to town?” Before we could ask. This was just the beginning of our favorite trail town to date.
We were dropped off at Mountain Hardware to pick up our resupply boxes. These wonderful people accept resupply packages at no cost for PCT thru-hikers and are super nice and helpful. They also stock thru-hiker items like isopro fuel canisters, Heet, Tyvex sheets, hats, and other items.
After buying a few items and picking up our boxes we headed to Pines Hotel. The hotel was cleaner than us but not by much… It was a place to stay with a shower. After cleaning up a bit and opening our first care package we headed out for food. The Yodeler was a great choice with good pizza and Stone Brewery on tap! Before leaving we were offered a cabin to use at no cost if we planned on staying another night… Incredible people in this town!
We fought and actually won the Wrightwood town vortex and left the next morning. We added extra food to the hiker box in front of Mountain Hardware were picked up in less than two minutes after putting our thumb up for a ride on the road!
Thank you Wrightwood for being so good to us! 🙂