Waking up at mile 330 was a struggle, although I somehow felt stronger and more connected with my fellow hikers. It’s a strange thing really, sometimes being hung over and filled to the brim with crap food can actually make you feel more human. For example I used to live with a super cool guy, Xan Gerson, who had hiked the Appalachian Trail back in 2010. He had once told me a story about how him and his hiker buddies at one point along the trail were all pissed off at each other, and no matter what one person would do, it would annoy the others. They decided that a break was most definitely in order, and that they should get a large bottle of Jack Daniels and a few pizzas to indulge on. They drank throughout the night, finally laughing and telling stories again and when they awoke in the morning brutally hungover, they somehow felt re-energized . . ready to continue their journey to Mount Katahdin, Maine. It’s weird how sometimes you need to feel a bit of pain in order to feel alive again.
The rest of the day leading up to the Pass was filled with excitement. Excitement to see my family, happiness for the food that was awaiting me, and pleased to have a nice break before heading out into the San Gabriel Mountains. When I reached the 15 freeway I found about forty or so hikers at the McDonald’s, all enjoying their sundaes and cheap, sloppy burgers. Their elation for the incredibly processed food was humorous, I thought, as I wolfed down a few Big Mac’s of my own. Afterwards my sister picked me up and took me to my hometown of Rancho Cucamonga to stay at my Mom’s for a few days. It was nice to be home.