Highway 2 (Wrightwood) to Highway 2B (second crossing)
Miles: 369 to 374 (5)
Last night was a barrage of beer, pizza, an carbohydrates that warrant a slow departure from town. Breakfast is devoured, errands are done, and wandering the small shops and streets of Wrightwood commences. I’m standing in a parking lot, helping Mah brainstorm ideas for losing pack weight, when a woman and her eight-year-old son approach. “He loves talking to the hikers,” she says. I invite them to join us and the explosion of gear that surrounds Mah where she remains seated on the ground. The boy shuffles his feet, eyes wide, and asks about tents, food, and “crazy” weather. I’m already flattered, feeling like an undeserving celebrity, when he looks up to his Mother to signify that the interview is over. She looks towards me, glowing, and says “he wants to hike the Pacific Crest Trail when he grows up. Thank you.”
Andy, Nick, and Dimitre meet us at the post office, where Mah is mailing out a heavy box of unwanted gear, and we decide that The AhWe Tribe is ready to wave some thumbs in the air. We catch a hitch within minutes, hop into the back of an old Chevy pickup truck, and return to our new lives, The Pacific Crest Trail.
By the time we get out of the truck, the world has grown frigid and dreary. The howl of wind pushes me sideways, muffles my ears. “I thought the desert was supposed to be HOT,” someone shouts from behind. There’s a small building a few hundred feet away that consists of two basic bathrooms. I rush towards the concrete box, go inside, and spoil myself with every article of clothing in my pack. Gloves, beanie, base layers, puffy, rain parka, it all goes on. I’m glad we only have enough daylight left to do a few miles–I can’t wait to be in my sleeping bag.