4/28 – Day 21 – Crossing the 15

I got up early and onto the trail before 7am to avoid contact with authorities.  It would be a 13.5 mile section to freeway 15, a huge road and railroad route from LA to the east over Cajon Pass. Those were the trains I heard; they were 10 miles away as the crow flies. The first 3 or so miles were uphill but it was not too hot yet. Over the next 10 miles there was no, zero, Zippo, nada shade, and temperatures were near 90 degrees. As I got near the freeway 15, I remembered that back in the 1970s, on the return from a family road trip to Baja we camped near here. The never ending train traffic, there are four lines, and the interesting rock formations brought it all back. Back then the never ending procession of trains kept us all awake.

I finally had to stop to treat my feet, it turned out that I was only an eighth of a mile from the freeway and the McDonalds, that was just a quarter mile off the trail in Cajon Junction. I had a big greasy meal and three large cokes.  Ice is so nice.  The many, many people were strange to me as I was exhausted and not used the masses of Saturday traffic. I bought sun glasses at a nearby gas station as I had broken mine a few days ago and had them taped up with white medical tape.

I moved on, crossing under the 15 in a tunnel where I met Spitfire resting in the coolest place around. He is a very nice ski instructor from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Over the next 15 miles the trail goes from 3500 feet to 8500 feet into the San Gabriel Mountains. It was hot and for the first time I had to fight off vomiting, thanks to Ronald’s grease.  I slowed a lot, and Jeff and Spitfire passed me. After about six miles I met them at a water cache sitting on lawn furniture in the middle of nowhere.

We had a good time sharing stories, and at about 6:30 a southbound section hiker joined our pow wow. He was a real talkative character who dealt at the Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay. I have been there many times on ski trips. He had on Daisy Duke cut off shorts.  A fun guy.  The three of them decided to sleep there, but I moved on as I wanted to move up the steep hill in the relative cool of the night and because I wanted to get to resupply town #2, Wrightwood, early on Monday. I did get a little nervous hiking in the dark, so I sang as I walked to be sure any cats knew I was there. Finally at about 9:30, I found a flat spot to sleep. Minutes later my main light ran out of power. The view of the Sunday traffic on the 15 was actually pretty cool. I slept well after a 24 mile day.  Oh I saw two more of those prehistoric looking lizards today and got some pics. My brother-in-law calls them horny toads; read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horned_lizard.

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