Day 28 – detours and poison plants

May 21
Miles: 407 to 430.6

Today I woke up and my tent was frozen and I had got condensation on my sleeping bag. This is a serious issue because I keep my bag in a 2 after proof stuff sack and if I put it in wet the whole thing might end up wet.

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“I think we should wait for the sun to get over the hill and melt these” I tell Refill.

“Wait for mid day break, it will be hot and they will dry fast.” He rattles off in his German accent. Always the one trying to be pragmatic.

I am not excited about packing up wet gear but I acquiesce and off we go.

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We hike through, all day, what is know as “The Station Fire” and it is huge.

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A lot of the area is choked up with a poisonous plant called poodle dog bush and it act like poison oak on people. Nasty stuff and we have some detours around it to take later.

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We make out way down to the fire station and get water and I sit on a picnic table and explain that in two miles there is a paved road we need to take.

My hiking partners all missed it today, of course. They were ahead and I started down the bad section and backed up and road walked to avoid the mess. After a time I realize they did not make it and so I jump back onto the PCT and did a couple of the very last miles in the detour section and it is crazy. It is like an army obstacle course, you climb over log, through logs, under logs, up and over, lift you arms going through thick poodle dog bush and wondering if you can touch anything later. It is nuts and you can not go fast. I out on music and jammed it.

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Finally I make it down and spy picnic tables from the trail, 24 miles, time to sleep at the Messenger flat campground, there are some other thru-hikers here, but none of my crew. Perhaps they will roll in late, everyone knows I adore picnic tables and will camp near one at any chance.  Seriously, sitting on the ground sucks, logs are okay, rocks as well, but a picnic table means business. Hell, I dried out all my stuff in one today.

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Time to eat and have a small drink I found in Wrightwood and have been carrying for a good time to have a drink, this qualifies. Actually, given my experiences so far, this is tame.

My friends show up at 8:30pm, Refill and then Ray, who I started with at the southern monument.

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