Coming down

Day 23: Little Jimmy Camp to Glenwood Boy Scout Camp

Trail miles 384-400.5

May 25, 2019

Although the air was still and the night was quiet, it took me a long time to fall asleep last night. Even after I’d puffed up my sleeping pad and pulled my quilt up to my ears, my mind remained far from settled. It reworked the events of the day again and again, splicing together scenes of people falling on snow and rocks with feelings of fear, exasperation, exhaustion.

Eventually, though, I slept, because I woke late to another cold morning. After packing my things and drinking a cup of hot chocolate, Carjack, Foot Juice and I held a short debriefing session to discuss our successes and failures during the previous day. We all agreed that had the weather been even slightly less than perfect or had our other friends not arrived to shoulder some of the emotional burden of evacuating the two injured hikers, we would have pressed an SOS button on a GPS device to contact a search and rescue crew.

The challenges of a self-evacuation had been nearly overwhelming, even in perfect weather, because both of the injured hikers were so badly shaken by their falls that they could not walk on snow without explicit instructions about where to place each foot and trekking pole.

After our debrief, we shouldered our packs and made our way up the trail. Tired from the ordeal the previous day, which had kept us on our feet for twelve consecutive hours, we paused often for breaks. Carjack’s shin has been causing her serious pain since her descent into Wrightwood a few days prior, and after we stopped for lunch at a small picnic area and began a road walk around a section of trail closed to protect Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog habitat, she was moving very slowly. By contrast, the severe foot pain I had experienced on the way into Wrightwood had abated almost entirely, and I was feeling strong.

Spartan, T-Pain and I decided to push on to the Glenwood boy scout camp, while Foot Juice and Carjack opted to stop early for a shorter day.

At camp, I made the best dinner I have had on trail so far: instant rice cooked with a miso packet and a dash of chile sesame oil and topped with ginger garlic wonton strips from the salad dressing aisle of the grocery store. Unfortunately, another cold storm was moving in, and I had to down my meal quickly so I could retreat to the warmth of my quilt.

The decision to carry an ultralight knife comes with advantages and disadvantages. Some might say it cuts both ways.

Road walking around the endangered frogs

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