Sander on the PCT



Day 21: McDonalds

28.1 miles (45.2km)

16 May 2018

We have stunning views every single day, but this morning topped all when hiking down the mountain pass to the Cajun Pass McDonalds. Ironically due to human intervention. Colossal freight trains, four locomotives, a hundred wagons and another two locomotives in the rear, gliding slowly by against the distant hills in what seems to be eternity.

I took some Ibuprofen - vitamin I in hiker terms - early morning and at McDo as the downhill was killing my left knee. I'll have to find or order a knee brace in Wrightwood. Most hikers dislike long and steep downhill sections as it's extremely taxing your knees.

We - Larry Bird, Kevin, Phillip and me - made it to the Cajun Pass McDonalds by 10h in the morning. It lies at interstate 15 which goes directly to Los Angeles so even this early there is a continuous flow of people. And of course pct hikers. We have no intention of leaving anytime soon though and settle in at our corner table. 2 sausage egg mcmuffins, 3 cheeseburgers, a large fries, several refills of large coke and 5 hours later we refill our water bottles and are ready to hit the pct again. I don't pack out any burgers but regret I didn't when setting up my tent later on. The first few miles were hard, with all the fastfood weighing on our stomach.

With all those midday calories, just like yesterday, we felt good to make it a big mile day once more. About 24 miles in, we followed a dirt road parallel to the pct as the sides of the trail itself were covered in Poodle Dog Bush, a poisonous plant. When the dirt road finally rejoined the pct, it was near hiker midnight - 21h in the evening. 28.1 miles for the day and a short 13 mile hike to arrive in Wrightwood a day early! These past few days were the best so far. Big miles, stunning views, trail magic and great company!