day 25: grumpy ascents


372 – 383.9

we have a lazy morning gathered around the picnic table with patchwork & bailey. pepa pulls out the pizza he packed out & passes it around & i eat one of my precious bananas & we share an instant coffee packet. somehow this is the first time on trail that i’ve sat down & had breakfast… normally i just snack on bars while i’m walking. it’s nice! but finally at 7:45 it’s inarguably time to go. we get a head start on rob & bailey & patchwork, they’re all moving slow this morning. but today we climb 2600 feet in just under four miles to the top of mt. baden powell & then drop down again. pepa’s memories of this stretch are far from fond so we figure we might as well just get it over with. i ask him whether there are any redeeming qualities at all that he can think of. “there’s a great tree at the top,” he says, “actually it’s my favorite tree.” all the way up i complain both out loud & in my head. morale is low & my lungs are screaming in disgust. the snow at the top is patchy & our microspikes are totally useless & my feet are soaked & leaden. the descent is somehow uphill too & after a while i have to laugh. how is today so dumb??

at little jimmy campground we sit at a picnic table from which we can see the trail. pepa cooks mac n cheese with beef jerky & i stir an avocado into a tuna packet & eat it with crushed up cheezits. “where is everyone?” we keep asking each other & come up with wilder & wilder theories. we can’t have left more than an hour before them & we took it REAL slow today & rob & bailey are DEFINITELY faster hikers than us. “maybe someone fell off the mountain & they had to help them?” i offer. we’re confused & also don’t really know whether we should hike on tonight or nah. there have been reported bear encounters around here & we’re not sure whether it would be better to camp with a group or to camp somewhere where the bears don’t expect dinner? & then suddenly rob & bailey & then boots & young gun & butcher & pebbles & nick & fly trap & josh & & & everyone else from wrightwood is streaming in. the picnic tables are crowded & everyone trades stories from the day. clearly we’re staying & rob hangs our food with his & bailey’s. i tear myself away from everyone after eight (late!) & clamber into our little shelter & fall asleep to the comforting sound of laughing friends. 


2 thoughts on “day 25: grumpy ascents”

  1. How exciting to make it to Mt Baden Powell! My sons and hubby have hiked it many times with Boys Scouts. Is there still the book at the top to sign? I love your writings, they make me feel like i’m experiencing it with you all 🙂 Take care and be safe!


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