Less walking, more resting.
After an uneventful night (cool but not freezing) I enjoyed an early morning start (left at 6:20am), with the wind picking up already. My leg muscle felt better as I started, and after a quick chat with Mark I was on my way.
By the time I passed the Hot Springs, I could feel the pain. By the time I reached this bridge, I was down to a hobble. Flat stretches were okay, uphills or downhills were not.
I finally gave in and took two Ibuprofen … first time on trail I think (last year and this year). I’ve had great success recovering from any aches overnight by taking Turmeric each night. After taking the “Vitamin I”, I was at least able to move at a reasonable pace.
After so many miles in the Deep Creek Canyon, I was ready to get away from the constant slope (loose sand and steep drops to the right) and unstable trail. We emerged at Mojave River Forks dam, without any water around it!
After a few more miles along dirt roads, across creeks and up decommissioned roads, I arrived at Hoghway 173. Mark had mentioned that Magnet would get picked up there by his dad but Magnet had similar leg/limping issues today and was still behind me. One truck was at the road (it turns into a dirt road there) and Seth instantly agreed to take me to Cajon Pass. He runs on the PCT a lot and, like his wife, is a teacher in the area. He said the miles from there to the Interstate are dry and exposed.
It could not have worked out any better. It didn’t take 30 seconds to find this ride! I was dropped at the Cajon Pass Inn at the Interstate, which is known to be hiker friendly. It was just before 11am (my hike was 8.3 miles today) and they let me into the room right away. There’s a hiker box and hiker register.
I spent the remainder of the day resting, doing yoga (thanks for the advice, Yogi Dave!) and massaging my leg. Since the trail climbs steeply out of Cajon, I am not sure I’m ready to tackle this. I have contacted some trail angels in Wrightwood and might be able to catch a ride there. It’s hard to tell how the leg would feel on the long uphill but right now even the stairs are awkward to climb 🙂 I will be sleeping in, having coffee and making further plans. A few other hikers are here but nobody I know. Magnet is going to try to keep hiking from Highway 173 and I hope his legs will feel better tomorrow (he’s in Crestline for the night).