Cajon Mac

PCT 2018 Day 15, May 7, Monday.

Start 319.9 small campsite before Mojave Siphon

End 349.0 campsite on ridge climbing up from Swarthout Canyon Road

Miles walked: 29.1

A few miles and the trail passes Mojave Siphon. No explanatory signs, so this is a reminder for me to research it.

I meet Rodeo, who has an official trail angel patch and slack-packs in the opposite direction of her husband for the day. The path goes along Silverwood Lake for some miles. The lake has a twisty shape, so is much larger than any single picture from shore. Cleghorn Picnic Area provided a faucet and rest stop. After several more miles, the trail opens up to a grand vista, showing Cajon Pass and beyond some peaks we would climb. When walking to town I walk a bit faster. Today, the destination is not actually a town, but an Interstate crossing with a McDonalds only 0.4 miles from the PCT. Most of the booths were filled with hiker trash. This is not my favorite eating place, but I got something so I could say I did.
They had free wifi and let you fill up water bottles from their soda fountain, so kudos to this place. People were sitting in all the booths when I got my double with bacon. Normal me might timidly ask if they could share a table. On-trail Sagebrush persona calls out, “Who wants a new friend?”, and hikers laugh and wave me over. Rodeo is in the crowd, and offers me a ride to Subway, and gives several others a ride to Wrightwood, the next town.

Back on the trail, after a couple of ridges the traffic and train noise subsides, and I climb a few miles and stop at a campsite with Hussein and Holly, with SkinnyDip pausing to eat dinner and hike on. Hussein tells us about the start of the Serbian War when he was a child, and how he came to America. Several groups pass our tent late, practicing night-hiking.

Bonus video: Cajon MacDonald’s full of hikers

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.