May 11-12: When we awoke, got water from the river, and started down the trail, we were now 5- which is kind of a fun number. We had a river crossing followed by a bit of a climb.
Like yesterday, we had a big destination: Silverwood Lake. We came into view of the lake from above, and enjoyed views from around the perimeter as we circumnavigated the lake.
There were a few nice spots where the trail came close to sandy beaches. Had it been warmer, we'd have been all over those beaches in a heartbeat! As it was, the temperature was quite pleasant when walking, though a bit cold when sitting still- mid 60's - and we did not feel the need to swim. We did head down to a covered picnic pavilion for lunch (and a quick nap!) and Zack actually decided to go for a dip after all.
There were a couple long waterless stretches today, so eyes were on the water report and we made sure to stop and filter!
Again, we found the camping spots were merely ok, and Lauren suggested we try to make it all the way to CajonPass, where there was both a McDonalds and a Best Western. It was a bit of a stretch, but both Lauren and I managed to conquer our first 30 miler! (Wallaby opted to camp at around 24 miles. Turns out he was the smart one!)
At the McDonalds, filled with other hungry hikers, Lauren ended up getting s bit hypoglycemic and a bit woozy. I asked a couple people at the McDonald's for a ride to the hotel. As exhausted as we were, a hot shower, four pillows, laundry, and a hot breakfast were a pretty good exchange. (Though seriously how tired are you when there is a jacuzzi and you are too tired to use it!)
The next day, check out was at 11:00. We left the room at 10:59. We had to pass the McDonalds on the way back to the trail so, of course we stopped in for another meal.
Our hike out of Cajon Pass was a waterless climb, but on the cooler side, so not terrible.
We went through a pipe tunnel
And looked down on the passing trains
Or up at cool rock formations
We managed only 15 miles, though- which were harder than yesterday's 30! And Wallaby? Ended up camping 7 miles ahead. So the joke was on us.
But I did have something he did not: a dinner of a cheeseburger inside the tent!
Peace, love, and trail magic!