Day 21

Day: 21

Date: 28 Apr 2018 08:46PM PDT

Location: Camping near mile 404.2

Today's Miles: 23.7

Total Miles: 404.2


Cold, cold night last night. Sleeping above 9,000 feet and it definitely dropped below freezing. Luckily there wasn't too much wind, but even so the gusts beat my tent up a bit.


Up at first light, but it was still wicked cold so I hung out in my bag for a bit, letting the sun warm everything up.


Relatively light day today, twice as much downhill as up.


About 1030 I arrived at a road crossing up in the mountains, a bit of a forest service rest stop / trail head with a bunch of cars parked, trash cans, and pit toilets. As I was sitting on a bench eating a snack I saw off near the trail something big, like a tree branch or something, fall off and down a hundred foot cliff embankment, landing down hard on the road.


Knowing something wasn't right, I jumped up and sprinted over to find an approximately sixty year old man had fallen off the steep drop, hitting his head multiple times on the way down.


Old dude was a wreck, barely conscious, bleeding all over the place. Needless to say, my training kicked in and the rest was a blur.


Organized some people standing around to stop the bleeding, cut his pack off, hold his head and neck and provide treatment for shock. Flagged a few cars down and sent them down the hill to try and make an emergency phone call.


Managed to actually get a phone call through, gave them a latitude and longitude since the dispatcher was somewhere in Los Angeles and did not know the mountains very well, cleared some cars for an landing zone, and waved in a helicopter.


Provided assistance to the two Los Angeles Sherrif Department medics who showed up, moved the hiker onto a stretcher, carried him to the helicopter, and off they went.


After that, I was a bit in shock myself for much of the day. Too many memories rushing back, and I don't remember much of the day after.


Late afternoon I came across a small ski lodge that does trail magic on the weekends when they're doing repairs and labor to prepare for the winter. They offered up chips and soda, pretzles, and general conversation. Sat and listened to a few other hikers chat before heading back out into the wilderness.


Hiked until sunset, found a spot overlooking the valley on one side, backed by the mountains on the other. Appears this is a popular section of trail for weekenders, someone is very close by partying it up at another uneateblished campsite, blasting music and otherwise being obnoxious.


Fifty miles to Auga Dulce.

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