Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 54: NO LOW HANGING CLOUDS

Tuesday, May 07, 2019 – 4.10 miles

Around 4:00 AM, I woke to the sound of cars rushing past on the road above. People commuting to LA for work? I checked the forecast for Wrightwood. Two days with lots of rain, two days with a small amount of rain and some other cloudy days. I REFUSE. NO LOW HANGING CLOUDS. I began to seriously consider flipping back up to Mojave and returning later to Cajon Pass to hike the Wrightwood section NOBO, which would prevent that troublesome hitch out of the pass. I checked it out on my phone. It looked like it would be a simple hitch from the KOA up to Mojave or public transit in Palmdale/Lancaster, and another simple hitch from Kennedy Meadows down to Cajon Pass. Then after arriving at the KOA again, I could make my way to Idyllwild or Palm Springs to hike the section I missed there. All right – I decided to jump up to Mojave. I was in a negative mood due to things becoming more complicated, but quickly got a ride to Acton and then another quick ride to Lancaster, where I ate a hamburger for an early lunch (while thinking ‘I hate food’) and mailed my microspikes and a few other things forwards before hopping on the bus to Mojave/Tehachapi. I asked the driver if he would stop at the Cameron Road exit of Highway 58, where the PCT trailhead is, and he confirmed that he could. That wasn’t too bad! This area should be getting some rain as well, but the forecast is generally good.

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Back up north
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The current temperature in Mojave is substantially lower from when I was here before, suggesting that one shouldn’t flip only to avoid the heat. With the strong wind, I was actually cool while climbing into the hills, and also cheerful to have returned to scenery I like. The wind strengthened to the point where walking along the exposed trail was difficult however, and I had to keep bracing myself with my poles.

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When I happened upon a great spot to camp, sheltered and with a view, I decided to make camp despite the early hour. That’s basically what I do. Engrave it on my gravestone: ‘She made excuses for camping early, but we suspect that she was just lazy’.

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Only the slightest breeze was penetrating the shrubbery when I set up my tent, but later the gusts increased from 54 km/hr to 76 km/hr to I’m not getting reception, and now an onslaught of cold wind is ruffling my tent. It’s supposed to decrease overnight and I fully expect to be able to admire the sunrise without being blasted by an icy breeze.

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