Day 28: BAM

May 12th
Total mileage: 347.3
Today’s mileage: 19

Reached McDonald’s at Cajon Pass, on the Highway from LA to Vegas. Hendrix won the calorie count by diligently calculating his total calories at 3,200. I limited myself to a 2 cheeseburger value meal, four refills of soda and a milkshake. I was a bit intimidated by the 27 miles dry stretch we knew we were entering, and I was eager to do my first serious night hike (although that didn’t pan out). I left with Six-2, Hendrix, Armstrong and Claire. We made it 5 miles and called it a night at the last flat valley floor before a lengthy ascent.

This photo tickled my fancy. Not sure who to credit for it though.
Poor Armstrong, reacting to a bee sting.

Fearsome wind during this final descent to the highway crossing.

Hikers must then cross via a causeway beneath the highway.

I think Hendrix is doing his best blue steel or magnum look here.

Six-2, keeping the trail classy.


EXTRA: Joe Brewer has an excellent video showing this stretch of trail from Cajon Pass (Mile 342) To Agua Dulce (Mile 454). I highly recommend subscribing to his channel:

10 thoughts on “Day 28: BAM”

    1. I only ate 2. 🙂 I took none to go, although I probably should have. Then again, that night I had a coyote visit me while cowboy camping, and that scared me.

    1. No, no special section. And McDonald’s was FULL of hikers. It was actually cool to witness. I wish I had photographed more people there…this little oasis before we headed back out into the desert again. There were insufficient power outlets, so several enterprising individuals unplugged the LCD screen and used it, hehe. Everyone was filling water containers at the soda water spout. McDonald’s would help itself by making a couple changes for hikers.

  1. Wow, that bee sting shot is great. Rough day for him!

    How many calories did you consume at McD’s?

    1. You know, I didn’t do anything crazy on calories. I simply had a Value Meal #2 (the two cheeseburgers), three cups of coke and 1 cup of Dr. Pepper, and most of a large milkshake. As excited as I was to get there, I was the last of our group to reach it and there was immediately a sense of concern for the next 27 mile stretch. I guess the phrase is a ‘sense of sobriety’. Part of me really, *really* wanted to get a room at the Best Western, as they had a hiker rate of only $60 + $5 per extra hiker, and I have a $50 credit toward that chain. But the timing just didn’t work out. Six-Two needed to reach Wrightwood to fetch his laptop and do some work, and we knew a serious storm was coming, and if I stayed alone in Cajon, I thought it likely I’d have to end up spending three nights at the Best Western.

      So Hendrix won the calorie count for our group, but he didn’t get anywhere close to the records I’ve heard of online. I’ve read in previous years that some guys will reach McDonald’s for breakfast, and then squat through lunch, and try to reach 7,000 calories total. Eck!

  2. Have been having a good time zeroing in on your whereabouts using Google Maps. I am unclear on the elevations near Wrightwood and why this late in the season you are looking for snow. And just what is the meaning of BAM. Now I realize that you are almost within shouting distance of the Marine Corps Base at Barstow. Back in the good ‘ole’ days (mid-a950s) when I served we would call the (very small number then) women marines BAMs (Broad Assed Marines), something that would certainly get your head bashed in should you venture this today. Can I assume that was not your intent? Enjoying your photos and commentary – keep it up, Tim, you are going great!

    1. No, that isn’t how I intended BAM, hehe. “BAM!” simply represented our sheer joy at reaching the coveted Golden Arches. Under any other circumstance, McDonalds wouldn’t be something to dream about, but it was a milestone that we’d be thinking about for a day and its located on this little sliver of civilization of an exit ramp with a couple of gas stations, a Del Taco, and a hotel. It was such a relief to go inside and treat ourselves to fast food. 🙂

    2. Also, meant to add that we’re sitting at just under 6,000 feet in this cabin at present. Two days ago, we were in the 8,500 range as we ascended and descended into this valley, so that gives you some sense of why snow is an issue. We have a couple of days of higher elevation in the days ahead before we drop down to the desert basin again, I believe. Thanks for your support!

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