Now there is only 350 miles to go to reach the Mexican border. Day 105 (10/16/10)
: At 5pm, we finally pack our bags, put on our shoes and prepare to leave the Saufley's. We start saying goodbye to Jason and Cassandra, then look at the clock and hesitate. How far would we get if we left now versus leaving in the morning? After all we only have 104 miles to go. 4 days should be plenty for that. Okay, okay...you pulled our leg. We take off our shoes, make dinner, and stay an extra night. Day 106
: We walk through Vasquez Rocks, which is full of rock formations that remind us of sinking ships. From there, we begin the dreaded 45-mile road walk -- a detour around the San Gabriel Mountains due to last year's Station Fire. We had hoped to crank through this section, but SHirley is feeling really sick and we are going at a pace of less than 2 mph.
She is practically sleep walking, but tries to tell herself that going slow is better than not moving at all. In the laste afternoon, a thick fog rolls in and we can barely see 40 ft in front of us. We're thankful it's Sunday night and there isn't much traffic along Aliso Canyon Road. We trudge along painfully slowly and finally set camp just after turning onto Angeles Forest Hwy. Day 107
: We woke up a couple of times last night because of spurts of heavy rainfall. In the morning, we decide to get a late start because we can hear the morning commuters fly by -- it sounds dangerous out there and the fog is still thick! By 7:30am, the traffic eases and we get on the move. Shirley is still not feeling well, but we are at least moving a little faster than 2 mph today. The weather is strange with intermittent rain, fog, and sunshine. At 5pm, we make it to Devil's Punchbowl where we stop for a bite to eat, refill water, and say hello to the owls at the museum. We finish off an additional 4 miles, half by moonlight, and watch lightning flash in the sky over Palmdale/Lancaster. We are glad that it looks like the storm has passed. Day 108 (10/19/10)
: Actually, the storm didn't pass. We wake up to more rain falling onto the tent and pack up between two showers. As we climb the first 2,500 vertical feet to Islip Saddle, the storm unleashes all its fury and we start layering up. At the saddle we meet the truck driver who plows the roads along Hwy 2. He thinks we are crazy to want to keep going in this weather, but we push on. Next stop Baden Powell at over 9.300ft. We say hello to the Wally Tree, which is over 1500 years old, on the way to the summit. The wind is howling, so we snap a few photos and take off. Rain and wind stop only occasionally throughout the day.
By dusk, while we are finally starting to dry up, we debate whether we should knock off a few more miles to get closer to our next resupply destination (I-15 @ cajon Pass) -- we manage to put in one more mile before the drizzle starts under a very dark and threatening cloud. Time to run for cover...it's going to get nasty out there! We take shelter under the roof of a restroom just as the rain begins to beat down on us. The restroom turned out to be a really good decision.
We see lightning and hear thunder all night...and a few times it hit really close. It's comforting to have a roof over our head and know we won't end up as barbecue. We wake up in the middle of the night only to see the nearby parking lot covered with 1/2 inch of hail.Day 109
: Another crappy weather this morning with dense fog, wind, and rain. We reluctantly pack up in the "comfort" of the dry restroom. The tent is completely soaked and weighs a ton. So much for ultralight!
10 minutes into our hike we are completely soaked. But we have no choice, we have to put the miles because we have an appointment with Shirley's parents that night. A few miles later, we get pounded by hail, then a few minutes later it turns to snow at 8,500ft near the Mountain High summit. We are getting cold in our wet clothes but it's all downhill from here and we know it will get warmer as we head down 5,500 vertical feet. As we drop elevation, we leave the storm cloud behind and at 12pm the first rays of sun allows us to dry our tent while we have lunch. Then it's smooth sailing down to I-15 where we load up on McDonald's food.
The past four days the weather hasn't been on our side. A lot of fog, wind, rain, hail, and even snow as we cross from Agua Dulce, through the desert, and over the San Gabriel mountains.