The McDash

Mile 342 of the Pacific Crest Trail has a McDonalds 0.4 miles away from the trail. Hikers choose to gorge themselves at this haven of free wifi, food and clean water. Even hikers outwardly against McDonalds plan to camp within easy hiking range to gain the Golden Arches the next day.

We were overcome by hunger, you see. Not starvation, but knowledge that $10 could get you 3000 calories of already prepared food and maybe a milkshake, this fact drove us all. 


The day before we had hiked over 20 miles and managed to find a lake to swim in. After finding a place to camp 13 miles away from McDonalds, the Dash was on. Pedi and Quinoa flew down the trail while Half'n'Half and myself held a steady pace. Beautiful country with great gashes in the landscape from seismic activity - we were hiking over the San Andreas fault. Finally I saw highway 10 and was within sight of my goal. Upon arrival Pedi welcomed me with the most divine 10pc chicken nuggets, and after that the afternoon was a blur of burgers, fries and fountain soda.

At one point the PCT hikers outnumbered the regular guests. A pair had fallen asleep in a booth, cell phones and camera batteries hung from the ceiling like stalactites, and the trays of empty fries and burger wrappers filled the tables. 

After gorging ourselves we had to rally to hike up and away from sanctuary and back into the mountains. After eating all that food it felt good to put some miles behind the place where we shamed ourselves.