Day 37

I ditched my keyboard in Big Bear to further lighten my load and haven’t gotten around to typing since. I’m sitting at the Acton KOA campground at the moment; about 450 miles in.

I spent the first month taking things slow. I averaged 10 miles per day. Since leaving Big Bear Lake, I’ve ramped up to an 18 mile per day average. Everything is sore upon waking, but the body loosens back up within five minutes of walking. I’ve avoided injury and haven’t been beaten down by repetitive use ailments; a common problem for me on endurance hikes.

The trail continues to rise and fall amicably and the scenery has improved with each passing day. The water situation can be rough (Tuesday required an 8-liter carry) though the High Sierras are only a couple of weeks away. The problem there won’t be access to too little water, but too much. Fording raging torrents of snow-melt is a dangerous enterprise.

With the Sierras comes high passes filled sheer cliffs and passes covered in ice. I’ve been getting mixed feedback on the necessity of crampons and an ice ax but will probably err on the side of caution and purchase them. I’d prefer not to end this trip as a mile-long blood trail streaking down the face of a 11,000-foot mountain.

There are some interesting towns coming up. I’ll be staying in Agua Dulce tonight as a guest of the Saufley’s. A family renowned on the trail for their epic hospitality. I’ll be staying at Casa de Luna in Green Valley the following night. I hear the food is amazing, and if I leave there wanting, there’s a McDonalds 80 miles north. I’ve been craving McChickens badly.

The only thing failing me at this point are my shoes: The Altra Lone Peaks. They’ve been worth their weight in gold, but I’m not sure how much life they have left in them. I’d like to stretch the life to Kennedy Meadows, but they’re starting to fail. 250 more miles is a bit much to ask.

The campground store has just reopened and I’m off to swallow a DiGiorno pizza whole.

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