Day 18: Grassy Hollow Visitor Center to Buckhorn Campground (23.0 miles)
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
May 25, 2016 - I was basically in the clouds all day, had a few cloudless miles but not many.
It was cold this morning. Woke up to frost on my rain tarp, so it was below freezing for sure. Had a hard time packing up, not use to that kind of cold. Finally was on trail by 7.
Started off the morning with an easy 3 miles downhill. That was gearing up to the hike to the summit of Baden Powell where I would gain 3000ft over 4 miles so I knew it would be tough. Plus I knew I might have some snow to deal with. Since there would be that much gain in so few miles I knew there had to be a lot of switchbacks and there was, 38 in all. I made good time going up, just over 3mph. I was alone on the summit for awhile but it was pretty cloudy most of the time. There were a few moments when the clouds opened up to take some pictures. After about an hour I decided it was time to move on. I heard later in the day there was an air rescue on Baden Powell.
The hike after Baden Powell was so much easier, again hiking through the clouds so everything looked the same.
I finally made it to my lunch stop for the day, Little Jimmy Campground. When I arrived there was already a guy there that had a fire going. That was my first campfire of my hike so I enjoyed it while eating and talking with the guy. He had been in this same spot for several weeks, just meeting all the thru-hikers stopping by. He had given me great advice about the PCT heading north. I was there way too long but luckily I was ahead of schedule.
Next I had a big decision to make, another closure coming up with 2 options. This was the Endangered Species Closure to protect the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog had the trail closed for 4 miles. Option 1 calls for a 5 mile walk around with parts on a road and option 2 calls for a 20 mile detour with no road walking. Originally I was going to do option 2, the longer one, but option 1 had me hiking more of the actually PCT than option 2. The road walk probable wasn’t the safest which why the PCTA came up with the other one. Also I was told that a storm was heading through tomorrow and would be better to get through the section as quick as possible.
Right before the detour I ran into some guys hiking southbound with 3 big bags. They were giving out trail magic as they hiked towards Cajon Pass, I got some BBQ chips.
Now I’m at the Buckhorn Campground. I was told earlier in the day the campsite was closed except for hikers but there are lots of car campers here blasting music.