Start – Mile 421 6:50 am
End – Acton KOA Mile 444 5pm.
Miles – 23
My campsite last night turned out to be better than I expected. The wind died down around 9:30 pm and I was unusually warm and comfortable. That strange because I woke up engulfed in clouds. I had to actually don my gloves and wind jacket for only the second time.
(I swear there were mountains there when I went to sleep).
After packing up I started the long hike down out of the San Gabriels to the outskirts of the town of Acton where there is a KOA campground that I was told would have showers and laundry.
Didn’t really see anyone on the trail today, which is pretty unusual. I tend to hike alone but I’m usually passing or being passed by groups throughout the day. That didn’t happen today and instead I was just by myself to hike through the low cloud layer that is pretty unusual for this time of year
My midway point today was the North Fork ranger station where one of the rangers, Ron, sells snacks and drinks to hikers. He didn’t seem to have much else to do as the road to his ranger station was closed to traffic, so the only people coming through are hikers. Ron was really nice and I bought some drinks from him, then he offered the three or four of us there free hotdogs, so I got a free lunch.
I knew I wanted to make it to Acton early enough to do my laundry (my clothes are crunchy at this point), so I only stayed for 30 minutes before pushing off.
The afternoon was much like the morning as the other hikers at the ranger station quickly left me behind. As I dropped out of the San Gabriels the view to the north of Actin and the next mountain range were spectacular.
I also encountered the longest snake that I’ve seen so far when I was just one mile from the end of today’s trek. This wasn’t a rattler though so I don’t think I need to have been worried. Stubborn thing though, didn’t want to move despite all the tricks I thought I’d learned. Took a few minutes but it eventually waltzed away.
Made it down to Soledad Canyon Road and ran into one of my favorite trail angels in the parking lot, Copoertone, who I last saw a week ago herb leaving the Deep Creek area. Coppertone stays in one place for a week at a time so I expect to see him again before Kennedy Meadows. He’s always got drinks, snacks, and seats, which may be the best part.
Again trying to get my laundry done I didn’t stay long and made it to the KOA by 5pm only to find that their laundry wasn’t working. So it’s a shower and then back into my grubby clothes again, just like Wrightwood. Tomorrow I have to resupply in Aqua Dulce and there is a place called Hiker Heaven, which is just a couple of trail angels who open their house to hikers. Apparently I can get my laundry done there so I don’t have to go another entire week like this.