Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 69: When Even the Ramen Is Posh

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 – 9.20 miles

I got an early start today to complete the nine miles to Inspiration Point/Wrightwood before the snow began this afternoon. Despite my hatred for low-hanging clouds, I was charmed to see a cloudbow:

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Great views continued in the cold.

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I started hitting patchy snow around Blue Ridge, none of it problematic. The Acorn Trail down to Wrightwood looked icy still.

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I had been planning to collect water at Guffy Spring, but with the cold weather I didn’t need to. Near the junction, I encountered trees with the most amazing… I don’t know. Is this advection frost? ‘Frost Facts for Kids – Kiddie Encyclopedia’ says that advection frost involves ‘tiny ice spikes’, but I could have impaled someone with these. I’ll concede my ignorance, but it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen so far this year. Also, these trees have a hard life.

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I reached Inspiration Point before the snow began.

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As I was walking around, looking for informational signage (there is none – apparently you’re just supposed to look and feel inspired), a car pulled up. The driver and passenger were friendly Wrightwood locals and offered me a ride to town. My main fear for this road was that I would get picked up in the snow by tourists who had never driven in snow before, but danger averted.

I arrived at the hotel too early to check in, but the employee stored my backpack and I went to the grocery store. An unfamiliar hiker checking out at another register came over and asked whether I had ID; I was puzzled until he revealed that he was trying to buy beer and the clerk had asked him to show ID. The clerk at my register asked how old he was and he said ‘almost forty’ and she told the other clerk to let him buy it. I had a laugh at that one. Ah, pointless bureaucracy… I also had a laugh at the fact that California can make even ramen posh and expensive.

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After I left the store, hail and snow began to fall. I went to the library and read until I could check in at the hotel. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be bleh but nicer weather is forecast for the next few days, so hopefully I’ll be able to actually see my surroundings on Mt. Baden-Powell.

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