Day 21: Party at McDonald’s 

May 5, 2017: Hiked Miles 328.1 to 341.9 (13.8 total)

We didn’t put the rainfly on our tent last night because it was so warm and woke up with our tent and sleeping bags covered in dew. Whoops. We’re obviously not too used to sleeping on grass. Our sleeping bags are made of down material so it will be important to air them out tonight. Down is such a warm, insulating material, but can take forever to dry.

Since we got into camp so early last night, we woke up early and felt very rested. Even though we didn’t get to sleep much earlier than normal, I think having that extra time off our feet helped a lot. We’re going to try to start making that a habit so we can hopefully get up before sunrise and take advantage of hiking in the cool part of the day, especially once we hit the Mojave. 

We got hiking quick and busted out some fast miles. We’ve noticed we hike fastest on steady, slight uphills. I definitely go slower on downhills, because of my knees and I think the uphills gives us something to concentrate on and conquer.

We climbed up above the lake we had spent the night at and then started winding our way west through the hills. 

I spent the morning explaining to Colton how to play blackjack and poker. I don’t know if that was the best idea. After he won $3.75 in Palm Desert, he thinks he’s a card shark. He’s already trying to plan a trip to Reno for us. 

Then he decided to reenact The Lion King for all the wildflowers and bugs to see.

We kept winding through the desert hills until we finally popped out overlooking a deep valley and a view of the snowy mountain we’ve been chasing for days. 

One of the best parts of this trail is getting to hike up so many mountains and having the most insane views. I could have sat here forever taking in the views. Except right below us was a steep, thousand foot drop off. So we decided to keep going.  

We got some insane updrafts coming down the hill into the valley. It was hard to stay on the trail. I love strong winds. It always makes everything so much more exciting. 

We could see two highways from our vantage point, both completely backed up for as far as we could see. Definitely back in SoCal civilization. We also saw results of a recent fire.

We eventually got off the mountain and wound our way through a little creek and finally heard the sound of vehicles. Always soo exciting!

And then we saw the best sign of all. 

Today marks three weeks on the trail, so this definitely called for a McDonald’s celebration. We walked in and the place was packed with hikers. It was hilarious watching non-hikers come in and get the weirdest look when they saw so many dirty people stuffing their faces and backpacks laying around. 

The meal definitely satisfied us. It was also the most vegetables I’ve eaten in probably ten days. Now my mom can stop worrying about my nutrition. 

Colton’s grandpa, Don, picked us up and drove us back to his home nearby to spend some time with his family. His home is lovely, and after showers, laundry, and drying out our gear, we enjoyed the afternoon talking with him and his wife, Linda, hanging out by the pool, and playing with their two granddaughters they were watching. 

Since it was Cinco de Mayo, we had to go get Mexican food. And of course it was a mad house. It was a little overwhelming at first to be around so many people and so much noise after being outside in the quiet so much. 

So we put our name in and grabbed drinks and went out to the patio.

Linda’s daughter and her husband also joined us with the two little girls. We waited for over an hour so we finally went inside to check, only to find out our pager had died and they skipped over us. Everyone was getting antsy and hungry, but they promised we were next once a big enough table opened up. After we reminded them a couple more times we finally got a table and free drinks! Everything always works out eventually. We snacked on tons of chips and salsa, watched all the craziness around us, and tried to yell over all the noise. The girls entertained us dancing to the ipod DJ and running laps around the table. We obviously don’t see any kids out on the trail and it was so fun to get to play with them. Off course I ordered fish tacos and we ate until we were stuffed. I feel like I am constantly hungry nowadays, but because we eat lots of small meals out on the trail, I can’t eat much of a meal before I’m stuffed… only to be hungry an hour later. Oh, the struggle. 

After dinner the girls and their parents went home and we went back to the house to sit in the hot tub and hear lots of stories from the past. And sleep in a huge comfy bed. 

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3 thoughts on “Day 21: Party at McDonald’s 

  1. Jenn you do such a great job telling you stories. You have a great sense of humor and its always so fun to read this. We hiked in Idyllwild today and of course I took fresh fruit and we did run into 4 PCT hikers. From Israel, Denmark, Chicago and Michigan…I know how fun it must be to make all kinds of new best friends!! Enoy!!!!! Btw that was a long ass snake!!!!!! I saw one yesterday in Joshua Tree. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenn, I am so happy to have found your blog! I love your humor. I love your photos. And, I love the way you tell it like it is! I look forward to catching up on all your adventures! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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