Day 20 McWater Source

Miles: 19
Total: 347
Water: from campground faucet and McDonald’s bathroom sink

We walk with a purpose this morning, and it is not getting to Canada. McDonald’s is just off trail, fourteen miles ahead. And it is an official water source on a very dry stretch. Also the hikers are getting hungry. Very hungry. 

We arrive at lunchtime busy with travelers off the I15 all shiny clean and smelling of soap. Unwashed hikers keep piling in, packs and all, until we have taken over the entire section of tables near the restrooms. Food is bought and eaten and bought again until tables are buried under wrappers, and even the hikers can eat no more. 

Grey for example, consumed the following, in order: 

  • Two dollar menu cheeseburgers
  • One double cheeseburger
  • One Big Mac
  • One medium fries
  • One spicy McChicken
  • Apple pie
  • Large Carmel iced coffee
  • Drumstick ice cream from the gas station

Estimated total calories: 2500

Because of dairy/vegetarian things, I can’t eat anything at McDonalds except side salad, sweet and sour sauce and according to the internets, the Big Mac bun. Not exactly a winning combination. But still I can’t bring myself to walk an extra half mile to Subway so I check out the Chevron store next door instead and discover a fruit cart out front. I return victorious with a massive pile of jicama, cucumber, pineapple, watermelon, mango and coconut, all doused in lime salt and chili. I add a three serving size bag of chips to get in the all-cosnuming spirit.  

 On the way out Nic overhears a mother telling her child “sorry honey, we’re not going in. There are too many hikers in there.” I did wash my underwear in the bathroom sink so perhaps she has a point. 

It’s twenty-seven miles to Wrightwood, the next resupply town. It is all uphill. And there’s no water until we get there. About five miles in, we stop at an unexpected stocked water cache. It is a bit early for camp, but we cannot see to drag heavy bodies further, especially away from easy water. So we lounge around in the sun, digesting.  

In the evening Ratatouille, through-hiker and host of the Trailside Radio podcasts, joins us for dinner and chatting. He even records some of our usual banter for the show. Bad Camper gets his story voice on and makes a great effort. Except it is all before the actual recording starts. 

I type this sleepily, past hiker midnight (9pm). Shenanigans, Grey and I are cowboy camped all in a row below a dirt road. We are effectively sleeping in a ditch, on the wrong side of the train tracks, past a truck stop McDonalds on the road to Vegas. It is official: I am hikertrash now.

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