Between Cajon Pass and Wrightwood. Town is 20 miles away. Feet are blistered and in pain, pack is causing major exhaustion, it must weigh over 50 pounds. Boots are rubbing foot raw, no room for toes and I think my feet swelled past their size. I have half a liter left.
Out of water. Dropped pack and waiting in shade, hoping a hiker will come along. Not currently dehydrated. 10 miles from known water source.
A hiker came by and saw my situation after half an hour. He introduced himself as 435 and gave me a liter of water. 435 may have saved my life.
Made it to the highway and hitched a ride into town with a couple of hikers named Rabbit and Squid. Trail angel Rich is housing me, says I can rest as long as I need. Will stay at least a night or two and let the feet heal.
Back on trail. Feet are better, still some blisters. Changing from boots to rope sandals to lessen pressure and allow feet to breath. Dropped about 10 pounds of weight in Wrightwood and I am definitely noticing the improvement. I think this will work out much better.
Not exactly sure what day it is, phones are dead. I think it’s been four days in the wilderness. Feet are getting worse and worse. I’m taking it slow so as to not make things drastically worse. I just want to make it 7 miles today to reach water. Next resupply point is over 30 miles away. Moving at current pace, almost 2 miles per hour, I will run out of food the day before I get into town, perhaps sooner if I move slower or need more calories. I am oversupplied on water, since I ran dry I’ve been pretty paranoid about not having water. Taking 10-20 min. breaks every hour and keeping hydrated.
Made it to water. Making camp a mile up from it so I can get more before I leave out. The campsite has a fire pit and looks way more comfortable than any I’ve been at all week. Warm food soon. Rest for my poor feet. There is happiness to find in my misery.
Made it to Mill Creek fire station, met a group of hikers there. They saw me in pain, hobbling along at maybe 1 mph and told me there was a trail angel on the way to take them into Acton. I joined with them and met trail angel Mary, an incredibly generous woman who says she drives probably about 250 hikers per year, and mostly tries to help those that are sick or injured. Now I’m resting at the Acton KOA, soaking my tattered (but clean) feet in the pool.
Hooked up with a couple of hikers at the KOA and hitched to Agua Dulce. Now resting in Hiker Heaven, which is aptly named. I saw 435 again here and was sure to thank him profusely for saving me with that liter of water. I picked up a new hiking pack from the hiker box which probably weighs about 5 pounds less than my current military external frame pack. Also ditching boots and ordering trail runners. Blisters are healing, starting to walk normal again. Will stay here for a few days to rest, heal, organize, and plan. Getting lots of help from other hikers, everyone is so friendly. The people I have met on this journey have given me so much hope and inspiration. They want me to succeed at this as much as they want to themselves. Everyone helps everyone. Nobody is left out or left behind, even a beginner such as myself coming into it later than everyone else. I am excited to get back on the trail as soon as I have myself and my gear ready. In the meantime I am perfectly happy to relax on this beautiful California farm and commune with the amazing people who are around me.