A perilous journey to McDonalds

Day 26 We left Silverwood Lake and set off through Little Horsethief Canyon with McDonald’s on our minds. Yes, there’s a McDonald’s only .4 miles from the trail at Cajon Pass. In my naivete when I first heard about this McDonald’s I pictured the friendly golden arches perched upon a hilltop in the pristine wilderness. Ha! Cajon pass is basically a rest-stop area along the enormous rumbling I-15 freeway, which the PCT goes under.

We don’t usually frequent McDonald’s, in fact it had been years since either of us had been, but after climbing hill & vale in scorching heat the thought of enjoying cool refreshments in an air conditioned room was enough to have us forgo our “shop local” ethic. Plus it was a PCT hiker hot spot. We basically couldn’t miss it.

mcdonaldsBut don’t worry, we milked Micky D’s for all it was worth. Dan refilled his medium Dr. Pepper about 6 times and Anna’s chocolate milkshake contained a good 1/2 gallon of ice cream as we rejuvenated for an hour in our cool yellow plastic booth.

But on the way to this global fast food enterprise we had a close encounter with the powers of nature, reminding us that we were still on a wilderness hike. Chatting excitedly, our dry mouths driving our steps to refreshment, Dan’s feet came very close to an unsuspecting reptile as we rounded a bend. A rattlesnake had been enjoying a small patch of shade on the narrow path (cliff up on one side, cliff down on the other) when he was startled into coiling action complete with maraca sound effects. What do you do when encountering a snake? Well, move back slowly and calmly. What do almost all humans do? Give a surprised yelp as they stumble backwards with complete lack of co-ordination. And yes, Dan chose the latter.

With hastened heartbeat we made the most of our camera’s zoom lens and then waited for the rattler to let us pass. But minutes passed and it was still in striking mode, noisily rattling its tail. Even after a few well-aimed rocks cascaded down upon him, he stood his ground. So we opted to scramble down the rock face and then up again well clear of striking distance.

Nothing would come between us and our quest for refreshment!

Skip to my McDonald’s my darling

Still no internet at Chalk House* my dear readers. I know you’re wasting away, eagerly awaiting more updates, but patience is a virtue. And today your patience is being rewarded!

On Thursday we ran an assembly for 4-7 year-old kids at a local school. We acted out the Creation story: Dan was a marvellous monkey and I was a fantastic fish. Afterwards we asked the kids if they remembered any of the things God had created and one cutie responded, “dragons!” Classic.

We also volunteered at a happening centre for those over 60. As soon as I walked in, a man grumbled to me, “This centre is for over 60s!” Apparently I don’t quite pass for 60 yet. We met two harmonica players, which Dan was excited about since he’s currently
learning how to play. He’s already mastered “Jingle Bells” and “Skip to My Lou.” We’ll have to post an mp3.

Saturday night we hit up McDonald’s, where our housemate works the night shift. Let me tell you, in the UK they have Cadbury crème egg McFlurries and the McDonald’s are posh!

And a sermon by our pastor, Greg, is in the Washington Times. Check it!

*Our house is called “Chalk Squat” because chalk is the opposite of cheese. And we’re not cheesy. If you don’t understand, just ask Dan.