I spent one zero at Cajon Pass, and a whopping 4 zeros in Wrightwood. Storms abounded, and TnT were determined to avoid them. Since I spent a lot of time in town, and then went home for a bit to heal and recharge, I’m just gonna write some highlights of my time there.
Hanging out in the foyer of the Best Western at Cajon Pass, I met more thrus than ever before. Everyone was dealing with storm threats differently. It was neat to meet and hang out with other hikers. A friendly guy named Lighthouse munched on a Del Taco, looking like he’d never tasted anything better. Ed, a cheeky man from Newcastle, told me about “squeezy lettuce”: a mushy, green substance on the burgers in England. Conversation got quite crude and hilarious, and when Lighthouse told a story about enjoying the smell of another man’s farts (“I swear, it smelled like cinnamon!” Said he.), I looked over at a young German man named Yence. He had such an odd look on his face. “No?” I said, “Not funny?” Yence replied, “On the inside, I laugh. On the outside, just shame.” I cracked up.
His trail mate, Svetlana, was using the hotel computer to look for jobs on cruise ships. I told her that it probably won’t be fun to be stuck in a box at sea for months at a time. To which she replied, “Well, maybe ‘stuck in a box’ is not the right thing for you, and that is okay.”
By the way, I did enjoy a McDonald’s meal. I had……. (drum roll) 3 cheeseburgers and 2 hashbrowns! And it was pure heaven, I tell ya!
I stayed at the Pines Cabins in Wrightwood. Mornings, I’d hang out at the Village Grind, write, and watch the locals. All the teenagers in Wrightwood seem to have dyed their hair blue, for some reason. Everyone recognized me as a thru hiker, finally. Kinda neat. The ladies behind the deli counter at Jensons poked a lot of fun at me and asked me why I was wearing a trash bag (my green zpacks windbreaker), then made me an extra large burrito bowl.
I met a thru who asked me not to write about them, so I can’t share all the great and silly conversations, but we had an entire friendship within one afternoon. I’d heard of the fast friendships on trail, but hadn’t experienced anything like this before. We clicked so fast, it was as if we’d known each other forever. Unfortunately, they became worried that I was going to write about them, and even when I promised I wouldn’t, they just couldn’t believe me, and our friendship fizzled out. I want to say thank you, unnamed person, for a really fun afternoon and a short, yet complete, 5 hour friendship.
Savvy showed up in Wrightwood, and boy did he look like he’d been through something. He looked ruggedly handsome, too; I think the trail is doing him good. He has been renamed “Perma-smile”and its a much better fit. I was really glad to see him. I figured that it was probably just the heat that got to us the day we argued.
Aaron came and hung out for a day, before taking me home to recuperate. He got to meet TnT and we enjoyed Taco night at the Yodeler (Delicious pizza at the Yodeler, y’all) with Ed and Sandy and her dog, Wiley. The next day, we gave TnT a ride to the trailhead and said our good byes.
Would I come back to the trail? I wasn’t yet sure. My feet were hurt, cracked and sore. I had exhausted myself through heat and dehydration. I was lonely out there, even bored at times. I needed some time to step back, and think.