It had been hot and getter hotter. I don’t have a way to tell the temperature but due to the amount of sweat that pools in my shoes and runs into my eyes I’d say we’ve had a few 85-95 degree days out here.
Thankfully there has also been water. Friday morning after 10mi of gradual downhill, we rolled into Deep Creek Hot Springs. Amazing hot natural baths to soak my sore feet and a cool crisp creek to jump in as the day got piping. Needless to say I did a few circuits.
And, being a two mile walk to a main road, it does happen to be a favorite of the LA and San Diego nudist communities. Surprisingly, no women between the ages of 22-35 were a part of the nudist representative party that day. Nope. Just men over 45 and of awkward stature who enjoy endless stretching atop the highest most visible rock perch they can garner. As great as the hot springs were, there were a few inappropriate interactions that ultimately spoiled the wonderful springs for me. It was good while it lasted.
I left there and put in another 10mi to set up my next day. I struggled to find a camping spot as the sun set and I walked a steep ridge. Finally, I came upon a nice fella, Starbucks, who had room enough on his flat to let me cowboy camp. I scarfed down some instant mashed potatoes in the dark and passed out exhausted.
I awoke at mile 319 and set out before the sun crested the hills around 5:30. I was shooting for mile 342 where the trail hits I-15 and more importantly where there was a MacDonald’s. It’s remarkable how the fantasies of quarter pounders with cheese and mcflurries can fuel a man’s fire.
At 8:30, I’d already put in decent miles, the sun was already cooking my brain, and I was drenched in sweat. As fortune would have it, at that time I was descending towards Silverwood Lake. I treated myself to a morning dip and dropped my core temperature back down in the chilly lake water. Morning fishermen watched with confused looks. It was a little slice of heaven.
From there it was full steam ahead. At around 1, I was dragging ass and staggered down to Cajon Canyon. The shining golden arches kept me upright all the way into the air conditioned automatic doored greatness of Ronald MacDonald’s Deliciousness factory.
Culture clash ensued. In I walked, backpack high, gaunt, covered in sweat and stinking, to face a mass of clean cut fat jowled Socalers most likely en route to Sin City. They stared. I didn’t care. This was the first time rolling into civilization where the folks weren’t used to rugged hikers. Some folks were intrigued enough to ask. Others were disgusted enough to make their order to go.
No matter to me. I was hammering quarter pounders, chicken sandwiches, and Dr Pepper like woah!! 4 hours later I’d stagger under some interstates and over some train tracks and out of society.
Tomorrow morning some time I’ll be at mi 369 and hitching into Wrightwood, CA. A trucker, Keith, in Big Bear recommended the whiskey at the Racoon Saloon. And by gosh, I think I’ve earned me one.
A la prossima…