May 28, 2015
Messenger Flats Campground (430.6) to Tentsite near Vasquez Rocks (452.3)
21.7 PCT miles today
468 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 3,549 ft, – 7,378 ft
9 days down, only 3 to go! Since setting out from Big Bear, Pickles and I have had one thing on our mind…get to Hikertown by the evening of the 31st so we can spend a zero at Six Flags Magic Mountain. To make this happen we knew we needed to hike 252 miles in 12 days, with no zeros and very little rest. We were up to the challenge, because quite frankly, we would do almost anything to make this day at Six Flags happen.
Pickles and I have been together for 3 and a half years and we’ve talked about our love for theme parks and roller coasters countless times. We’ve tried on multiple occasions to squeeze in a trip to a theme park together, but for one reason or another it has never worked out. Once we got the idea in our heads to visit Six Flags on a zero in Southern California, there was nothing that could get in our way.
So we’ve hiked without ceasing through desert heat and burn zone; rushed through tempting stops like Wrightwood and the Acton KOA (with its clean, refreshing pool and ability to order delivery pizza), and now we are so close we can taste it. Tomorrow morning we’ll get breakfast in the tiny town of Agua Dulce, and then it’s just 3 more 22-mile days before Mama Bear arrives in her magical Volvo and sweeps us away to a well-earned day of adrenaline-pumping fun.
Six Flags isn’t the only thing we’re looking forward to in the weeks and months to come. We’re hoping to hike into Kennedy Meadows (the “Gateway to the Sierras”) on June 9th, my 30th birthday. We also hope to spend a few zeroes in Tahoe during the 4th of July, celebrate Pickle’s birthday on trail at the end of July, and eventually, hang out with a bunch of friends off-trail when we pass near Portland, Oregon. I’m sure other little delights and surprises will find their way into our schedule (kind of like the trail magic root beer floats we experienced this afternoon…had to throw that in here, thanks trail angel Coppertone!), so whenever the going gets tough, we can know that every step is getting us closer to something awesome.
Backpacking Gear of the Week: Dorky looking safari hat
Yeah, there’s no way around it, everyone looks silly in these things. But they really do work out and have saved our faces, ears, and necks almost every mile of this journey so far. Not only do they shade is and help against burn, but we actually feel cooled off when we put them on. Also, all the straps and cinches make it a hat that you can wear on the windiest of days.
Backpacking Food of the Week: Water-enhancer drops
Though not technically a food (especially since some are zero-calorie), these little bottles deserve attention. Both Pickles and I enjoy the taste of water, but after a few weeks of drinking multiple liters a day, it had started to get a little boring. Then in enter these little flavor drops (we bough Arizona Peach Iced Tea ones on a whim in Wrigtwood) and suddenly we have an ultralight treat that we can look forward to chugging at every water source. Now we’re excited to try a new flavor/brand every week!