Day 23: mile 341.9 – mile 358.6

Elevation gain: 5,046 ft (holy crap!)

Elevation loss: 1,147 ft

We are back on the trail and it feels really good…even though today was BRUTAL! Check out this elevation profile:

We were lucky enough to have our good friends PK and George help us out again by taking us to the trail head at Cajon Junction. They even walked with us the first 4 miles which was really fun, especially because it wasn’t the most scenic at the beginning, so it helped to pass the time.

Those 4 miles flew by, chatting with them the whole time…thanks sooo much guys!

As great as it was getting to hike with them, it was at a huge cost because when they got back to their car someone had smashed their window and grabbed a bunch of stuff! Oh my gosh, Bri and I felt so badly and thought about it all day…having this great experience tarnished by some inconsiderate idiot 😡😡…UGH!

Not 5 mins after PK and George turned around to go back we ran into another rattle snake. This time sunning himself in the middle of the trail which makes him A LOT easier to spot! We rolled a rock towards him and he slithered off, but kept an eye on us the entire time…like we would mess with him!

Today was the very first day of the whole trip that both Bri and I had pain from our packs because they are the heaviest they’ve been so far. it’s taken us years to accumulate the lightest gear possible in order to make the hiking more enjoyable…man, did we learn this the hard way! When we first started backpacking we brought all this extra stuff, a different shirt for each day, even a handheld broom to sweep the tent! Our packs used to be 60+ pounds!


But now that our base weights are 14# and 18#, we can walk further, have more fun and never have pain from the packs…unless we have to carry a boatload of water and enough food for 7 days/6 nights like we did today. All of a sudden, this section is super dry without a lot of water sources, plus we knew it was going to be really hot today, and we aren’t picking up our next resupply for 7 days. All of this makes for a bad combo and leads to doubling our weight or even more. So then when you add over 5,000 ft of elevation gain, it equals a pretty brutal day. The climb was just relentless, exposed, and pretty boring most of the time. We ended up needing to stop once an hour to take off our packs and relieve the pain before heading off again.

We ended up calling it quits at almost 17 miles even though it was only 4:15pm, and treated ourselves to a whole wipe each for cleaning up (this was a necessity after all that sweating today!). At least with all that climbing, we are at a higher elevation so temps should be cooler in the morning. Our plan is to get up early and finish the last 4 miles of this climb before it gets too hot again. It does look like our week at home in hopes of some snow melting worked tho! On the Guthook app, there was a hiker who said he had just finished postholing the entire last 5 miles that we just did today on 4/12…that wasn’t that long ago! I definitely feel like I can’t really complain about the heat today, because all that snow would’ve been 10x harder! Thanks for coming along on our journey with us! Double Down

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