Day 18: Twenty-Three in Nine

18 April 2021
Onyx Summit to Caribou Creek
PCT Mile 252.1 to 275.0

Goose and I have an ambitious schedule. It’s 90 miles to the McDonald’s at Cajon Junction, and we want to get there in time for dinner on Wednesday. That’s about 23 miles a day for the next four days.

Normally it would take me about ten hours to hike 23 miles, but coming off a great zero in Big Bear, today we did it in nine. Yay!

Goose’s gal Cindy squired us to Onyx Summit at 7am this morning before heading to the airport and back home.

Cindy and her mighty (rental) steed
Bye Cindy!
Back on the PCT

We immediately ran into Candace from San Jacinto Peak. Her trail name now is “Siren” because she is always trying to convince her fellow travelers to stop in town, luring them to shore! She is currently backpacking with her cousin Chet and — you guessed it — she was on her way into town!

Siren and her cousin Chet

We made good time to the first water source, a spring near Arrastre Creek, and we found an older PCT trail that contoured above the new one, saving us some down and up. We then rejoined the new PCT as it wound through some very dry high desert. It was cold, so I was happy to see the sun.

Good morning!
A beautiful spring, with icicles
Not too many blowdowns
Easy terrain
Desert paintbrush
Desert tea
What a view!
Yucca (and JimmyJam) stand at attention

We stopped just once for a snack and then made it to highway 18 by noon. 14 miles down, 9 to go!

I added some health food to my peanut butter tortilla
Lovely vistas of the desert below
Lake Baldwin
Messages for hikers near the highway
Wow, really?

We found the water we cached for ourselves at the highway and took a nice lunch in the sun. We then continued on more easy terrain.

Mountain phlox
One way
And the other way
Blooming desert yucca

We hit a burn zone and then had our only major ascent of the day, a 1,000 foot climb.

Dodging poodle dog bush
Traversing some talus
Douglas’ violet
Slender phlox

Then we descended and by 4 we made it to camp. We didn’t need to get water from the creek because there is a water cache by the road nearby stocked by a trail angel (thank you!).

Beats treating creek water

We have cell service here, and I learned that our neighborhood friend Jim passed away. I called Half Cookie and cried a little. He leaves behind Flower Power, with whom we hiked on the JMT last summer. We will all miss him.

Today’s Hike-U:

On the Death of a Friend
Unflappable Jim
Smart, amiable, and kind
You left us too soon

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Nancy L Anderson says:

    What an amazing trip you are on. I commend you and Goose.


  2. Peggy Tryon says:

    Hi James, Don’t know if you have seen my other comments. I so love reading of your adventures. So sorry to hear of your friends passing. I love your pics and just reading your posts. You amaze me. I feel so lazy! You inspire me! It’s a beautiful journey you are on. Glad to hear about half cookie too ! Still thinking on my non hiker name! Keep going! Love, Peggy


    Liked by 1 person

    1. JimmyJam says:

      Hi Peggy! Thanks so much and yes I read all the comments. I usually “like” a comment once I’ve seen it and sometimes I reply.


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