Cleghorn Picnic Area mile 328 to mile 347, 19 miles
Cost: Camped, free
I left just after 6am wanting to get some miles in before it got too hot and I was also on a mission to reach a McDonald’s (only 0.4 miles off the trail) preferably for breakfast. It was 14 miles and I got there at 11am, half an hour after the breakfast menu finished. Usually I wouldn’t be so excited about going to a McDonald’s but considering my diet only really consists of clif bars, peanut butter tortillas and ramen/mashed potato, I was looking forward to something a little tastier.
When I arrived, I was the only hiker there but soon the whole McDonald’s was taken over by familiar hiker faces. I ordered a double quarter pounder with large fries and a caramel sundae with extra caramel and was running straight to the bathroom within half an hour of finishing my meal…. As were all the other hikers! Either my stomach has shrunk or it can’t handle anything other than my very simple and plain diet that I’m eating on the trail!
If you ever meet Cuban B, ask him how he feels about chicken McNuggets considering he ate 40 of them!!! Plus fries and a thick shake.
The conversation between the hikers degenerated greatly to stories of poop (it’s a pretty common conversation out here!), and whether to dig the cathole first or after doing the business… Sorry if you’re eating!
There was a picnic table behind the McDonald’s so we moved there and aired out our gear (we camped near the lake last night so woke up with condensation on the tents) and we stayed for quite a few hours waiting for the sun to go down a little before attempting to hike on.
Once we left McDonald’s we were entering a 27 mile stretch with no water so we all filled our water up to our maximum capacity (Becca, Nomad, Cuban B and myself). I have a maximum capacity for 6 litres between two 2l platypus bags, 1 smartwater bottle and 1 powerade bottle – I don’t think I could physically carry any more than this.
Around 4pm, the four of us left together and only managed another 5 miles, not feeling the best after gorging on McDonald’s. We found a great little campsite right on the San Andreas fault line (I later found out!) and I had the best night sleep yet.