We awake rested and restored in Wrightwood. I fetch last night’s pizza from the mini fridge. The tomatoes are frosty, but I attempt to eat the pizza anyways.
We meet Chef at the local breakfast place. He came down from the trail this morning and he said it was frigidly cold last night. Although we’re sad we missed the section, we’re pleased to be restored today, ready to walk. Chef’s friend won’t be here until around noon, so after breakfast we all go sit outside at the coffeeshop, soaking up the sun. I sip on a fresh lemonade. Chef orders some crazy milkshake concoction, that’s more delicious than I’ve ever seen. We meet a small dog named Steven. He’s sits in the sun, panting.
Lupine, Chef, Horse and I sit chatting, all growing eager to get back on trail. As nice as Wrightwood is, our legs now call the shots.
Soon enough, Chef’s friend arrives in a Chevy Malibu. We squeeze four backpacks into the trunk and pile in to join the trail at Three Points, where the trail opens up again. It’s about a 2 hour drive.
I forgot how it feels to travel in a car, and get tired as I sit in the back. My back is stiff as I watch out the window. The desert turns to burn as we wind between the hills. So much of the Southern California landscape has scorched by fire. I continue to be amazed and saddened. This desert landscape appears to be expanding.
By the time we reach the trailhead, I’m exhausted. I need to walk. It’s about 2 pm and we all locate where the PCT continues and our legs launch us onto the trail, each in our own rhythm. Chef dissapears ahead of us. Horse passes us when Lupine and I eventually break to snack.
It feels good to unite with the trail, but the scenery is blunt compared to what we’ve seen. The hills are scorched and dusted with ash, from a fire about a decade ago. Few trees are thriving, but there is plenty of brush.
As the sun begins to dim we spot Horse and Chef’s tents perched up on a ridgeline and unburnt trees. We place our tent between them, cook our breakfast and cozy in for the evening.