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.
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!
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.
We stopped just once for a snack and then made it to highway 18 by noon. 14 miles down, 9 to go!
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.
We hit a burn zone and then had our only major ascent of the day, a 1,000 foot climb.
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!).
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.
On the Death of a Friend
Smart, amiable, and kind
You left us too soon