Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 25. Baden-Powell

20.4 miles 
mile 370 to mile 390

Pathfinder and several others are taking a zero day in Wrightwood today, but I am eager to get back on the trail.  I got a ride from the innkeeper at the (recommended and very hiker-friendly) Pines Motel in Wrightwood to the trail at 6 AM with Whitewater, an AT thru hiker from Lawrenceville Georgia.
Climbing Baden-Powell.
Climbed Baden-Powell today. The trail around Baden-Powell was full of dayhikers- I mean tons and tons of people out on this near perfect Saturday. A Sierra Club group, a meetup group, a Boy Scout group, and a bunch of others. At first, it was overwhelming for me seeing so many people on the trail. But I did have some wonderful conversations wit people I met- I'm recognizable as a PCT hiker, and a few folks were interested in hearing about that. I also got the opportunity to find out about a few plants I've been wondering about- snow plant is the red "parasitic/ saprophytic" plant I saw here and at San Jacinto. And the shrub that has spiny fruits like a chinkapin really is a chinkapin- only out here the leaves look different than ours in Georgia.
Near the summit of Baden-Powell was the famous 1500 year old limber pine tree. It was even more beautifully twisted in person than I'd seen in photos. How cool to sit under it and think about how ancient it is and what a place it is rooted to. Wow!
Famous limber pine.
One of the highlights of the day was hiking a mile with a six year old, his grandmother and their friend- they were out dayhiking. Really sweet boy and highly inquisitive. Loved how he asked a million questions.
View from Baden-Powell
Camped near Whitewater and Coach (a retired high school physics teacher) at mile 390 (EDIT: I'd met Coach on Day 2 but didn't realize we'd met before!  Check out his excellent blog here).  Lots of clouds so I put up my tarp. First night on the PCT with it up and it's weird not to see the sky.
By the way, Coach and Whitewater both have blogs.  Check them out:
Whitewater's blog
Coach's blog here.

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