Day 25: Wednesday, May 29

Cowboying near Cooper Creek (PCT mi 394.4), walked 25.8 miles today

Slept very well on my air mattress, left the house at about 7:30 and we were driven to the town coffee shop, where I had a cappuccino and an English muffin. I was actually tired of town food by this point and didn't want anything heavier. I had heard that Charlie, the French guy, had come in there the day before and asked for just one egg with his coffee, so I had told him the "Oh, you're French, you don't eat much for breakfast because one egg is an oeuf" joke, but he just gave me a blank Gallic stare. I probably pronounced oeuf wrong or something. I'm probably spelling it wrong right now. Anyway.

Paul dropped us off at the trail at 8:15, I walked the easy first four miles and then holy mother of God did the trail get steep. This was the climb up Mt. Baden-Powell, named for the founder of the Boy Scouts, and it was a dandy, 3000 feet up in 4 miles. There was an Arctic wind at the top as well, which I nabbed (summit was .3 miles off the PCT). I didn't hang around long, though the view was a fantastic 360-degree panoramic. After that I kind of bumbled along for ten miles or so, not much happening of note, although the views were unbeatable.

In the evening I had to take a detour around part of the PCT, which is closed to protect some endangered frog species. The options for the detour were the "official" detour, which bypasses 6 miles of PCT using 19 miles of lousy trail with a billion feet of elevation gain and loss, or the "old" detour, a flat 3-mile road walk followed by a flat 2-mile trail walk, bypassing 4 miles of PCT. I took the latter, as everybody does. I only saw 4 cars in about 50 minutes walking the road, and it is a fantastically scenic road, Highway 2 (or THE 2 if you're from SoCal). Good times ... I almost always really, really like walking in the evening if it's warm enough, whether it's in the more deserty parts or up in the high-elevation forests, like this. Finished the detour right around dark, grabbed some water from the creek and found this nice flat spot. Tomorrow all the water and shade goes away. Boo.