The last two days have been a blur. After two full days of college orientation, I traveled back to Austin, bought food for the next 4 days, shared one last dinner with family, said goodbyes to everyone, and traveled to the airport where I boarded a flight back to Los Angeles. We landed at 9:15 p.m local time. Jeff was waiting to pick me up, we drove to his house, and I flopped into bed at 11 p.m.‘
This morning, I worked to get all my gear sorted and repacked. After a great breakfast of waffles and eggs, we headed out to the trail. Taryn came along to drop me off. As we entered Angeles National Forest, the road had many sharp turns and curves. My stomach was feeling it, and so was Taryn’s. She was feeling it more, so we pulled off to the side and took a few minutes to breathe in some fresh air.
We were back at Islip Saddle at 10 am where Jeff had picked me up a few days before. The trailhead was packed with many people out hiking for the weekend, including a couple of scout troops preparing for a backpacking trip. Jeff and Taryn hiked out about a mile with me before we said goodbye. I am extremely grateful for Jeff, his family, and their generosity. I did not really know them before the trip, and now I feel that I know them well.
Today was a warm day without a cloud in the sky. After a few days of sitting indoors, it was really good to be out hiking again. At the next road crossing, I came across a group of people performing trail magic. I was re-energized with a cold glass of sweet tea and a banana. While enjoying my break, I met Pleasure Way again. It is cool when you return from off-days and you again run into people that you met earlier.
About 6 miles from camp for the evening, I crossed the 400 mile mark! Only 2,250 miles to go.
As I neared camp, I met a weekend warrior named Clark. He was from L.A. and was using his weekends to explore different trails in Angeles National Forest. As we visited, it turns out he was interested in hiking longer distances. He asked quite a few questions and I shared with him how I go about the planning process. We talked until we arrived at camp. There were already several other groups set up - one of them a scout group. Thankfully, it was a sizable trail camp.