17 miles (Mile 357.2 – 374.2)
Gobbler’s Knob – Vincent Gap
Yogi – it’s a term used in the hiking community for mooching, basically. There’s many different strategies. I’ve done it once before on a backpacking trip at Pictured Rocks in Upper Michigan. I’m not really comfortable with it, but sometimes the thirst for a cold beer or soda takes over. I walked over to some folks that were partying on a pontoon that they’d pulled up onto the beach, and I offered a couple of dollars for a beer. They didn’t accept my money, but they did give me a beer. That was “yogi’ing a beer.”
Tonight I did the same thing and it was fantastic. A couple of guys came down from Mt. Baden-Powell after an overnight hike, walked to their truck and proceeded to pull out a bag of chips and a cooler. I kept looking over, tempted. I finally gave in and walked over. They didn’t accept my cash offer, just like last time, and gave me a Mickey’s! Before they left, they brought the rest over to our group and offered it to us. Munchies and Coors Light never disappeared so fast. Bill and Chuck – you rock! Yogi success. :)
Today was a social day on the trail. We woke up chatting with Ellie and Luke, and once we got on trail we ran into a few more hikers. Some we knew and some we didn’t. When we got to our water source at Grassy Hollow, Mr. Green, Awesome, Manchurian, and Dishcloth showed up – and a short while later – Cuddles! It was a great reunion – we hadn’t seen them in a while… and the funny thing is that Aloha shared a cabin with most of them in Wrightwood last night! We all hiked on anothet 4-ish miles to Vincent Gap. It’s a parking lot just before the steep 4,000-foot, 4-mile hike up to Baden-Powell.
We got here pretty early and all decided to stay. It was chilly, windy, and we were in a thick fog. We assumed it would be worse the higher we went, so we all set up our tents on a closed-off road just outside the parking lot… we can summit in the morning. Hopefully the weather will allow us some views at the top tomorrow. Unless we get that snow above 8,000 feet like we heard!
Since we stopped so early, we all gathered along one edge of the only building in the area because it made a great windblock. Unfortunately it was the pit toilet building. We didn’t really care. We all sat there, lined up against the wall, sitting on the… well, we called them the poop traps. We cooked dinner and just hung out… for a few hours. I guess we might be official “hiker trash” now, after eating our dinners (happily) while sitting on a poop trap. But it’s all good – “hiker trash” is a term used with pride out here.
As we hung around a bunch more hikers showed up – Whispers, First Light, Golden Hour, Madam Cookie, as well as a few others that came and went on or set up camp. I guess the Vincent Gap parking lot is a good place to gather – at least it was for us!
We did hike 17 miles today… we started in a fog, hiked into beautiful sunshine with cool, higher-elevation temps, and ended our day in a new fog. I’ll throw a few photos of our amazing views below.
Tomorrow morning we hike this:
P.S. Aloha – I assume you were the one that left Gatorade and chips on the picnic table here – ? If so, thanks! :-)