Day 17: Swarthout Canyon to Grassy Hollow Visitor Center (23.1 miles)
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
May 24, 2016 - Once again I survived another windy night. When I first set my tent up I really didn’t have it pointed in the right direction for the wind so it was flapping around. I really didn’t want to take the time to move it as it was getting dark and I was tired but knew if I wanted a good night sleep I need to adjust it. That small adjustment made all the difference.
By morning the wind had died down but the fog had rolled in. I knew most of the day would be uphill and had 17 miles to go before my next water source. The climb wasn’t too bad but it was such a narrow trail and hard to see where I was going, it was like hiking through a rainforest.
I finally made my morning stop 8 miles in and ran into a guy I’ve seen off and on for the last week. So we chatted while we ate for about 30 minutes. After that I had a real hard climb up. The trail itself wasn’t bad but there was lots of poodle dog bush to deal with. Luckily most of it was dead, I think someone came by with weed killer.
After the poodle dog bush section the trail got really nice and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. The one nice thing about the clouds was it kept the temperature way down but didn’t get many views on the day.
Around lunch I found a nice campsite that actually had sunshine so I ended resting there for 2 hours of eating, napping and taking in the warmth of the sun.
I finally made it to Guffy Campground to get water but it was a very steep climb up, steepest I’ve seen so far. Once I got there I had to take an as equally steep downhill trail to get water. It really wasn’t worth the trip down because I could have made the 5.5 miles to the next water source.
I left Guffy to walk along the ridge where it was so windy and cold so I pulled out my coat and gloves. The hiking was very enjoyable all the way to highway 2 that would take me to Wrightwood if I wanted. I was thinking on the way down that if someone just offered me a ride I would take it so I could shower and clean clothes. Sure enough someone had just dropped off hikers and asked if I wanted a ride. I figured I really needed to move on but he did give me some drinks of V8 and water.
The last mile of the day was uphill to Grassy Hollow Visitor Center where I planned to fill up water and eat dinner. Then planned on to move on another mile to a possible campsite as Grassy Hollow is day use only. However when I got there I saw several tents so I thought about camping. Then right after eating dinner I see a big group of park volunteers go into the building. I asked one about camping and she said it was fine for hikers. So I set up my tent in the less windy spot I could. Then soon after a woman invited me and the other hikers in for a big potluck dinner they have once a year, I got lucky. I ate so much food maybe I put on a few pounds. I think I’m down about 5 lbs since I started my hike.
Now if this fog would go away so I could take in some awesome views.