Gobbler hike, Turning on our beast mode
My buddy Chris and I have been hiking for awhile now. We usually go to a new spot every weekend and conquer something. We planned on going ot the Mormon Rocks and just running around but I decided to switch it up on Wednesday after coming home from my 1.5 year olds doctor appointment in San Bernadino. Noah fell asleep on the way home and I figured hey let the lil guy sleep. So after exiting the I-15 freeway I turned onto Lone Pine Canyon road. The view was awesome and at that moment I instantly changed my mind on our hiking adventure for Sunday. I had purchased a Tom Harrison Topo map of the surronding area from Sports Chalet. When I got back to the house the research began on our conquest. After studying it for a minute I found a route that would take us right up to Gobblers Knob campground and then we meet up with the Pacific Crest Trail all the way to Wright Mnt. The road (3N31) was a good 2-3 miles up itself. It had a couple of nasty hairpin turns but it was going to be our savior for the hike. The hike was supposed to be 5.5 miles one way. I love that saying "supposed to be". Well it wasn't 5.5 at all, ended up being well over 10 miles. Here is the story that insues, it was a very fun trip. It was also trying, long, hurtful, laughable, windy, warm on one side, cold on the other, clouded, and of course many boulders rolling down the side of the mountains.
The morning of Gobble Gobble
the 1st indications that this would not be a normal hiking day:
1. I always pre-plan/pre-pack the night before and do so very well. I did not this time!!
2. My dog ate my power chord to my phone/alarm clock. I had the wife set the alarm for 0630
3. She set it for 1830 instead which I woke up 30 minutes late. Our trip was pushed back by almost 90 minutes.
4. Chris had played 3 softball games back to back to back on Friday and was already tuckered out. He trucked on like a soldier anyhow.
5.* This is the kicker here, the gate from the turn off of Lone Pine Canyon Rd. to 3N31 was friggin locked!!
This means we have to hike the whole entire road to the start of the PCT!! We did not see that coming. Someone throw a wrench....now!! There is a reason they say to call ahead talk to the Ranger station to see what the weather conditions are and see if roads are open. I figured since the winter has been so warm we could come and go as we please. Ummm yeah not so much.
And we're off....
We started to shove off about 0945 and right away I really wasn't feeling the hike at all. I was mad depressed that we had to hike basically from Lone Pine Canyon Road all the way to the begining of our original hiking spot. I could tell by Chris's body language and our convo that he too wasn't feeling it. However after a short stop to take off my thermal underwear we took back to 3N31. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, there was several huge clouds coming into the valley and at very low levels. It really was a spectical to behold, you could see them just jauting in and out of the many valleys in the Forest all day long.
....Gobblers Knob, finally!!
After 1.5 hours of hiking 3N31 we reached the campground. Note we did climb up the side of one switchback that we thought was easy peesy lemon squeeze, it was quite the opposite and it burned a lot of energy as well. We quickly busted out the oranges, apples, and a great Fleet Foxes album and continued on. Good call Chris, the 1st of 2 times that day I shouldn't have listened to you. The campground was a tiny circle with a lone fire pit which looked like it hadn't been used in years. There were several different looking trails in the area that weren't on the map as well. We peeped the map and decided that taking the road all the way until it ran into the PCT. We could have hit the PCT by the top of the Mountain but since we had to hike from the road we thought it would save us time.
Mission PCT is a go
Once we got started Chris and I both had rush of adrenaline running thru us. We jammed out for a good 30 to 40 minutes before we had to stop and wiggle our way around this tree that was blocking the path. We thought hey here is a good chance to snap a few photos and take a rest as well. It was weird because on one side of the trail the Forest was burnt and the other wasn't. I just don't remember when the last fire was up in that area so who knows how old the burnt trees are?? It was creepy to say the least..
Onward to Wright Monutain My Friend
We continued on an on and on soaking in the great views of the Forest, clouds, Pine trees, cliffs, and clouds sprawling throughout the valley and terrain below us. I felt like we were in the original Rambo movie it was soooo cool. We stopped to eat lunch on this cool pile of rocks that looked like it was actually there for us to sit on and enjoy the views. I pulled out my military style MRE. Beef Patty menu was my lunch (bad choice!!) I rumged thru it and found that the beef patty was as hard as the rocks we sat upon. It also had a white gew on it so I tossed it down for the animals to eat which I doubt they would even touch it. Chris was nice enough to let me chow on his PB&J with a bit of BBQ pop chips, suppose that makes up for me listening to his suggestions gone wrong. I'd say it was round 1230 at this point. And that put us on the trail for nearly 3 hours now and we still really didnt see where our final objective was. We just kept seeing the trail go around each side of the several different mountains. We looked back to the left and saw what I thought was Pine Mnt and Dawson Peak. I'm a novice map orienter so I could very well be wrong.
Summit Success....well to us it was and that's all that WE care about.
On the map there was a sharp switchback that one way would keep you on the PCT the other was Acorn Trail to Wright Mnt. Well of course the Acorn trail was hardly noticeable and we passed right by it and kept on trucking the PCT for another good 2-3 miles. We went from hard ball (pavement) to gravel to forest to desert back to forest back to desert and then back into the forest again, it was nutty. We kept saying it has to be around this next mountain, and the trail just never seemed go toward a peak of any sort. I finally noticed that the terrain and part of the PCT was fimilar to me. I had been in this same exact spot in October with my buddy Jeremiah. I told Chris that we wwere done hiking (which he cordgially agreed) and if we keep on this route we'd end up underneth the GD ski lifts on Mountain High. So we got off the path and ran up to the cliff face and snapped some photos and devoured what was the most delich Reese Cup we ever ate. We rolled a few boulders down for good times and the chocolate gave us renewed energy to get the heck back to the car.
Homeward bound and tick down
We shoved off back from whence we came and it suddenly dawned on me, we traveled a long long ways!! We back tracked for what seemed days and we were running out of light. My hip felt like it was falling off it hurt so bad and I could barely pick it up and walk staright. Chris kept saying his heels were destroyed (hamburger was his exact word, haha) and we made frequent stops to rest our ailing bodies. Everytime we stopped we thought it was a good thing to roll huge rocks and boulders down the side of the mountains. Hearing a boulder smash into a tree and echo is a totally awesome sound!! It also took our mind off how much time we had left and the ache of our body. We finally reached a wicked switchback and wouldnt ya know we found a rock trail that lead up to the top of what I called Hang Mans Noose Mnt. I called it that because there was an old tree that was stripped of bark and had one lone branch poking straight out from the side. I asked Chris if he wanted to monster mash up the trail becuase I seriously thought that this was our original destinantion. He said no thanks so off I blasted and then I hear him say F it I'm going to then. What we thought was easy turned it to a tumultous climb. We finally got to the spot where one ragged pine tree stood by it's lonesome. We deemed this our Wright Mnt. and wrote our names on the tree where no bark was present. We took a deep breath and again headed for the car. We kept thinking of how much longer the trail was and we figured it would be quicker to hunker down this ridge and saddle area to shave off a ton of time. What we didnt account for was the steepness of that ridge and how bad it was going to effect our already hurt, achey, and sore legs. So we descended and it was around 1600 when I last looked at the time and we weren't close to being down this ridge. Funny how things look a certain way and once you start them they turn out to be more trouble than it's worth. 30 minutes later we made it to the creek bed and walked out of there barely alive, no food, 100oz of water gone, and only a lil bit of Powerade (Mountain Berry Blast apporiately named) left. Another 15 minutes on 3N31 and we were back to the Element, thank god. So by the time we reached the car it was around the 1645 time frame. Total trail time would be dang near close to 7 hours. I was so tired that I could barely press the gas pedal and I damn near fell asleep driving on the way home from dropping Chris off. It was Chris's idea to hit the ridge (I did agree though) and yeah it did seem like a better idea at the time but lil did we know a critter would hop on for the ride. I got home and took the greatest shower ever, I had to put a chair in the shower because I could no longer stand. I got out and sat down on the couch and felt a pain in my right hip area. It was a tick who was devouring my well hydrated body fluids or love handles for you couch potatoes. I plucked that sucker loose, killed, and kept him for research. My research turned up the tick being a Western Black Legged Tick, carrier of Lyme disease....thanks Chris (haha). My bite area is sore and I notified my doctor, we are keeping an eye on it and hopefully all will be fine. Either way you slice this hike it was awesome & amazing and we if we had to do it all over I wouldn't change a thing. We went above and beyond what we expected to do and kept pushing ourselves to go further. It was an absolute joy to be out there where all you could hear was the wind and birds and be with your best bud for memories!! I estimate our round trip hike was in the 22.6 ball park area!! With that being said we are both on offical hiking hiatus for now, concrete jungle here we come;)
From Palmdale take Ave S to CA-138 to CA-2 to Wrightwood to Lone Pine Canyon Rd (this road breaks up and you take Sheep Rd. to Thrush Rd. to get back to Lone Pine) to 3N31.
All you need is a Adventure pass, daily or annually. Cmon people get out there and be apart of nature before it's too late!!
Comments, questions, or concerns hit me up
Peace I'm out