mile 332.3 – mile 347.1

14.8 miles


If you read yesterday’s post, then you know that today was all about McDonald’s. 
It was a beautiful morning! We got a leisurely start and it wasn’t freezing, so we all got to pack up while enjoying the soft pink sunrise. 
I must say, every morning I feel like I am 458 years old. I hurt! Everything hurts! But once I struggle out of my tent and get moving, I feel better. Until I stop again. Ha!
It was a beautiful morning! It really was. We slept up high, so we wound down ribbons of trail along ridges of foothills all morning into town. We could see everything around us on both sides! The mountains were lit up with bright yellow and soft lavender flowers, purple and dun-colored grasses, green shrubby bushes. Did I say it was a beautiful morning? 
And it was so much fun to all be together. What a great crew. 
We got to McDonald’s before 11:00 and we all just went crazy. Not as crazy as the guy we saw eating five Big Macs, but our version of crazy. I started with a quarter pounder with cheese, medium fries and a medium Dr. Pepper. It was so good! SO good. 
We stayed at McDonald’s all day. Hours. We charged our devices, took turns going to the gas station next door to resupply, plotted our next couple of days. I got a hot fudge sundae. Then I got a McFlurry. I overdid it. The McFlurry sent me over the edge into a bit of a food coma. 
I talked to Hunter about my next resupply and some other things. Emerged from my food coma. It was time to hit the trail. 
Loaded up with a few days worth of food, some chicken nuggets for dinner, and SIX liters (13.2 lbs.) of water to get me all the way to Wrightwood, we all started walking. Back down the small portion of Route 66 that took us to the McDonald’s. Back to the trail. And up and up and up…and up we went. It was a beautiful afternoon! If hot. 
I fell behind, but that’s okay. One step at a time. 
Around 6:00, I found the gang in a large rocky dry creek bed area. Tonight it’s me, Wang, Rusty, Lisa, GB, Heartbreaker, and Mama Sita. And two other random dudes who just showed up. It’s very deserty and gorgeous here. And we all decided to cowboy camp for some reason. My first time! I’m a little nervous, but exhilarated at the thought of sleeping under the stars without a tent. Now I will turn off my phone, because the sun is going down and the flying insects are beginning to find me too interesting. 
Today I met Heartbreaker, from Germany, so sweet and funny. 
Today I learned to take it slow with the fast food. 
Today’s hike was powered by McDonald’s!