The Wrightwood Hour

PCT 2018 Day 16, May 8, Tuesday.

Start mile 349.0, campsite on ridge climbing up from Swarthout Canyon Road

End mile 375.8, campsite near Lamel Spring

Miles walked: 26.8

After miles of steady climb, under a fierce sun, little shade, with no nearby water sources, I cross a road just at the top of a ridge, and Rodeo is there giving out lemonade poured over ice, with orange slices as garnish. She also offered anyone water, apples, and sports drink. Wow. Now I am able to survive through the afternoon. Terrain is desert shrub or recent burn, neither offering shade. At a highway crossing is the next town, Wrightwood, a hiker favorite. It has not been that many hours since I had town food, so my plan is to go into town, look around, resupply as needed, and return in one hour. Almost immediately a van stops and gives me and two other hikers a ride, where 3 large dogs are excited to meet us. In town, the grocery store has shaded tables in front, useful for hikers packaging meals. Inside, so many hiker favorites for meals are on store shelves. Down a couple of buildings is the hardware store, which keeps a hiker box and list of trail angels. Some angels offer rooms for the night, and others offer rides to and from the trail. A modest amount of traffic on main street is a welcome change from some previous towns. Shops are close together, easily walkable on foot. After an hour I have snacked and gotten any necessary supplies. Hitching was a little slow, so I was getting ready to call trail angels, when angel Sue arrives to give another hiker a home for the night, and offers me a ride up to the trail. She stops to pick up another hiker hitching, Shindig, who I had been talking with at the grocery. Back on trail, I hike a few more hours of steady climb in forest, to a water source and flat spot bigs enough for one small tent for one weary traveler.

Kudos to Wrightwood.

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.