I just arrived here in the tiny ski resort town of Wrightwood, CA after being picked up by a trail angel named Ray. Not only did he drive out to the trail from town (postponing his son Logan's nap, no less), but he and his girlfriend routinely put hikers up in their apartment, let them use their showers and laundry, and sleep on their couch. I mean seriously. How nice can people be out here? For every pick-up truck that screams by while trying to hitchhike, there are people like these that validate the whole of human existence. Good job guys :)
The last few days have been the picture of contrast, which by now seems to be the norm in Southern California. From high on the ridges, one can often see snow capped peaks on one side and the Mojave desert on the other. One day consisted of a string of dams made to service L.A. that, while walking below them, faced more scrub and chaparall. Upon coming over the top however, the massive Silverwood Lake comes into view. Later a ridgewalk gave views of the San Andreas fault (with a few unlucky homes built on top) which led down to a Cajon pass, where I-15 comes barreling through on its way north, accompanied by a railway carting 100 car long freight trains. In the midst of all this stands the Mormon Rocks, a huge sandstone escarpment which stands perilously close to the rails. And above it all, the specter of L.A. looms in the form of smog. The San Bernardino Mountains would easily offer views down towards the city were it not for the blanket of yellow-grey pall that covers the area. From up high, one can see the blue sky above, but below is an impenatrable shield blocking views to the south.
The last few days, and indeed much of the next section, are dominated by the detours we are forced to take. Yesterday was one long reroute from near I-15 around an area burn by the "Sheep Fire" a few years ago, and required a tedious, hot, shadeless road walk for some 15 miles. Coming up is yet another fire burned area with a somewhat indeterminate route around it. I hope to be able to resupply and get things straightened out while here in town, and once through this area we should be done with the detour buisness...barring any future fires or catasrophes that is. Be seeing everyone some other time.