Day 30: Flip-flopping around Cajon Pass

Our 30th day on the Pacific Crest Trail. We finished up 5 missing miles near Cajon Pass, then hiked 2.5 miles after Inspiration Point. Rick’s left ankle is hurting.

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May 18th, 2015
Start location: Cajon Pass Best Western
End location: Jackson Flats campground; 2.5 miles after Inspiration Point.
Miles hiked: 8
Miles hitchhiked: You do the math, Cajon Pass to Inspiration Point on SR-2

Another lazy hotel morning. We caught up on blogging (hence 5 posts today). We’re trying to keep up on blogging, but it’s been a struggle recently. When we ate breakfast (from the hotel), the breakfast room was mostly empty- only a few hikers were there at the Best Western last night.

We left the hotel by foot around 2:30pm. Arriving back at the Cajon Pass intersection with the PCT, we were glad to have avoided spending any further money this day at the Cajon Pass.

The trail out of the Cajon Pass is odd. You cross under I-15 in a water control tunnel. You pass under the first set (easternmost) set of BNSF tracks under a trestle. You pass under the second set of BNSF tracks (center) in a corrugated steel tunnel. You walk across the UP (westernmost) tracks.

The PCT tunnel under interstate 15 in Cajon Pass, CA

The PCT tunnel under interstate 15 in Cajon Pass, CA

Inside the PCT tunnel under interstate 15 in Cajon Pass, CA. It was very dark, hence the blurry image.

Inside the PCT tunnel under interstate 15 in Cajon Pass, CA. It was very dark, hence the blurry image.

Corrugated metal tunnel under BNSF tracks

Corrugated metal tunnel under BNSF tracks

After a bit of ascent, we reached rocks that looked similar to those in the landmark “Mormon Rocks” (which we’d seen from car). But we weren’t in Mormon Rocks proper– at least not the part closest to the road.

We continued to ascend over a ridge. Then we descended the ridge. During the descent, Swarthouse Canyon road came into view.

Cactus near Cajon Pass

Cactus near Cajon Pass

BNSF Trains near Cajon Pass

BNSF Trains near Cajon Pass

Upon reaching Swarthouse Canyon, we walked up to Lone Pine Rd (as we’d done when we hitched up to Wrightwood a few days prior). From there, we hitchhiked (again) up to Wrightwood. This was a guy (didn’t get his name) in an E46 BMW. He was very interested in the PCT, and asked us lots of questions about our hike. He dropped us off at the Wrightwood Post Office.

2277 Miles Till Canada

2277 Miles Till Canada

From there, we hitchhiked up to Inspiration Point. It didn’t look any different than when we’d been there a few days prior with our friends Joe and Amber. The ride was given by the owner of “Camp Wrightwood,” a summer camp which opens its doors to thru-hikers on an as-possible basis.

From Inspiration Point we hiked through a cloud to reach Jackson Flat Campground, a merge 2.5 miles from where we’d started.

Rick’s left ankle is hurting, so the short day wasn’t unwelcome. The pain is similar to, but much less severe than, Rick’s right ankle pain which paused our hike mid-May of last year. Hopefully, frequent massaging, frequent rests, and (temporarily) shorter days will keep it well.

We’ve been sitting next to a campfire as we blog. The campfire is dying, and it’s time for bed. Goodnight.

Big Fire pit at Jackson Flats Campground

Big fire pit at Jackson Flats Campground

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