Day 18 – 5/9/16
Campsite 335.6 to Cajon Pass 341.87
Total miles: 6.27 miles
Cowboy camping was a bad choice. I couldn’t sleep at all last night and by morning my quilt was extremely wet on top. 5 Star’s quilt was wet too. I tossed and turned all night and kept worrying about how we my quilt was getting. I woke up for the hundredth time at 5:15 and decided to pack up and leave. McDonald’s is only 7 miles away! 5 Star packed up and left with me at 5:30.
The 7 miles was pretty easy. It got steep in a few sections but for the most part it was an easy day. The hike to McDonald’s was overcast and sometimes climbed up into the clouds. About half way I could see the mountains on the other side of the I-15. Mountains I will have to climb over tomorrow. It was interesting the clouds seemed to stop right over the interstate and the mountains were lit up by the sun.
At 7:30 am I came around the corner and saw the interstate. I could almost smell the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit. As we got closer we came across a sign that said “Canada 2296 miles.”
The trail came to a small frontage road where you turn left to stay on the trail or turn right to McDonald’s. Only 0.4 miles!
I turned right and saw those beautiful golden arches that I’ve been dreaming of for over 4 days. 5 Star and I picked up our pace and headed there. On the way we saw a large monument dedicated to some men. Apparently we were on some other trail.
We walked into McDonald’s and set our packs down in the back corner of the restaurant next to the bathroom. I’m sure the other patrons didn’t want us smelly hobos sitting right in the middle of them smelling up their breakfast. A couple minutes later the nicest guy ever came by and said “welcome weary travelers. How are you today?” I told him I was super excited for McDonald’s. He said he would be happy to take our order up front and that he loved serving us hikers.
I went up to order and looked at the TV screens that are the menu and looked for the deluxe breakfast I’ve been hearing about. Almost 1,300 calories for only $4.19. I ordered that, a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit meal with an orange juice. He handed me a little metal stand that held my receipt and order number and said he would bring everything to me when it was ready. What?! This is not the McDonald’s I remember.
My food arrives and it looks and smells so good. I don’t eat a lot of meat while I’m hiking so I always am craving a big hunk of dead animal. I take a bite out of my first hash brown before devouring my biscuit sandwich. I then take the English muffins, egg, and sausage to make an egg Mcmuffin. I open my syrup and dip my hash browns in the syrup before moving on to the pancakes. Almost 2,000 calories in a few minutes. Tasted so good.
As I was eating some of the other hikers I’ve been leap frogging with since day 1 came in and were just as excited. We all kept talking about how good it tasted and how much we had been looking forward to McDonald’s. The Hobbit walked by and went over to the Chevron since he doesn’t like McDonald’s. He came in a few minutes later with some danish and to use the WiFi.
After about 30 minutes the three of us decided to see if we could check in to our room at the Best Western early. 5 Star called them up but apparently our reservation got lost. Luckily there was still a room and we could check in if we wanted.
We walked the 0.6 miles up and over the interstate. The Hobbit went across the street to subway while 5 Star and I got the room. The front desk guy told us that what happened was we had scheduled the room for the 6th instead of the 9th. 5 Star said he had to try to schedule it a few times because of Internet problems. The front desk guy was supper nice and said that the room was paid for a few days ago and he understands that things happen with hikers so he got us a room and we didn’t have to pay again. Awesome. We grab our resupply boxes, trade some dollars for coins for laundry.
We walked into the room just as The Hobbit was walking up and immediately exploded our packs all over the bed. We gather up all our clothes and throw them in the washing machine.
We all sort through our resupply and complain about how heavy it feels. I think this is going to be a standard practice. The worse part is tomorrow is all up hill and a dry stretch. No water for 22 miles. That means lots of water with all this food.
The shower felt amazing. I sat in the shower scrubbing my feet for quite awhile. Once my clothes finished drying I put my shorts on and my sleeping shirt on and it felt amazing. It’s the little things I’ve realized that make me feel good.
The Hobbit sat in the lobby for awhile to use the WiFi while 5 Star and I walked across the street to Subway. I got a foot long steak and cheese with double meat and then grabbed an oreo ice cream bar and a 64 oz root beer from the attached gas station. So I’m well over 3,500 calories for the day and it’s only 11:30.
We got back to the room to eat and I turned on TV and we watched Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone. Definitely a 90s movie. After Demolition Man we watched the last hour of John Wick. Basically we relaxed and did nothing all day.
Around 5 pm 5 Star and I walked to Del Taco. I got a chicken enchilada and a beef burrito and beef taco combo. About another 1,500 calories. So somewhere around 5,000 calories. Although, I did eat a couple cookies and some skittles so probably even more than 5,000.
I fixed my wind pants which ripped a few days ago. Uses tenacious tape to fix the rip. Hopefully it works. I also ripped my long underwear when I pulled them on a couple days ago. The material is so thin it just ripped from pulling them up. Definitely would not recommend the lightweight Smartwool wool long underwear. A chunk of tread on my shoe is starting to lift off. A guy we leap frog with has some shoe goo glue that might help me get a couple hundred extra miles our of them.
After that I laid in bed watching TV and doing nothing. Feels good relaxing and letting my feet rest.