Day 15: San Jacinto and Fuller’s Ridge

Date: April 24, 2017
Miles: Ended at 193.6

“I like being near the top of a mountain. One can’t get lost here.”  ~ Wisława Szymborska

Today was fantastic. I slept horribly last night (I still haven’t figured out how to get a good night’s sleep in a tent, so I’m always a little sleep deprived out here) but I woke up feeling good and my legs and lungs were ready to climb the rest of the way from Little Round Meadow campground to the top of Mt. San Jacinto. This detour off of the PCT was worth it. The morning was clear and the views stretched for miles.  Continue reading “Day 15: San Jacinto and Fuller’s Ridge”

Day 14: Side Trail to San Jacinto

Date: April 23, 2017

“People get to this place many different ways.  You don’t always want to follow someone else’s footsteps.” ~ Hiker I met as he was coming down from San Jacinto

Today we took the Deer Springs trail out of Idyllwild up to the PCT, followed the PCT trail for a couple miles, then turned onto the San Jacinto Peak trail and hiked until we camped at the Little Round Valley campground at about 9700 feet.  It was a tough uphill climb for me today.  My legs felt heavy, my pack felt heavy, gravity felt heavy.  All I wanted was to walk on something flat.

Continue reading “Day 14: Side Trail to San Jacinto”

Day 13: Back to Civilization, Briefly

Date: April 22, 2017
Miles: 144 – 151.8

A mile past our campsite this morning we came across the Walden cache, a neat stop with a little free library and cutouts of Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. Apparently the trail angel, Mary, doesn’t like to be bothered by hikers but does keep the cache stocked and maintains a register in which she asks hikers to name a book that inspired them and why.  Continue reading “Day 13: Back to Civilization, Briefly”

Day 12: Are There Mountain Lions In The Desert??

Date: April 21, 2017
Miles: 127.3 – 144

“I’m a leader. Not a follower.  Unless it’s a dark place, then you’re going first.” ~ Unknown

This may not come as a surprise to you at this point, but after we said goodbye to Mike’s Place we walked through more desert. I entertained myself by taking pictures of some of the flowers and listening to Lord Huron. The right kind of music can really make the miles go by quickly.  Along the way I met Alan From Ohio and Outro (Matthew), who chatted for a while then kept going at about a 4 mph speed uphill. I tried to keep pace with them for a while just to see if I could, but then I felt like I might die so I quit that. Slow and steady is still my speed.  Continue reading “Day 12: Are There Mountain Lions In The Desert??”

Day 11: From The Real To The Surreal

Date: April 20, 2017
Miles: 109.5 – 127.3

“The desert surrounds your every step and you walk forever a thirsty man.” ~ Christopher Pike

We left Warner Springs in the morning and hiked alongside the Agua Caliente Creek for about six miles, passing through a private campground dotted with tall poles with hooks on them and a shed filled with the remnants of food packages that all looked like it belonged on a post-apocalypse PCT.  We were trying to guess what the hooks were for…food bags?  Lamps?  Bodies?

Continue reading “Day 11: From The Real To The Surreal”

Days 9 & 10: A Nearo and a Zero

Date: April 18, 2017
Miles: 101.1 – 109.5

“I feel like our lives have been reduced to a bunch of small bags that all fit in one big bag.” ~ Strongback

We had a short walk from Barrel Springs in to Warner Springs today, and it was one of my favorite days so far.  The trail wandered through stands of giant trees and meadows of purple grasses that undulated in the wind like waves.  Continue reading “Days 9 & 10: A Nearo and a Zero”

Day 8: 100 Miles!

Date: April 17, 2017
Miles: 86.6 – 101.1

“This is the dirtiest trail I’ve ever been on.” ~ Salty Dog

I had a really vivid dream last night that I was wandering around a big-city downtown office building wearing coveralls with my trail name sewed on them, insisting that I worked at the business there, because why else would I have coveralls with my name on them??  I was escorted out by security and then I woke up. I hear that lots of people have intense dreams out here.  I haven’t given it much thought, but I’m curious to know if there’s a reason.

Continue reading “Day 8: 100 Miles!”

Day 7: The Real Desert

Date: April 16, 2017
Miles: 71 – 86.6

“You thought you were in the desert?  You’re in the real desert now.” ~ Girl Scout

This morning Strongback found out the hard way that spiders spent the night in the toeboxes of both of his shoes. (Since then i’ve been hanging my shoes from upright trekking poles at night and shaking them vigorously in the morning…I’m not taking any chances!)

Continue reading “Day 7: The Real Desert”

Day 6: Trail Magic

Date: April 15, 2017
Miles: 56 – 71

“When I think about that sunrise that I woke up to that morning, I just feel like I got as close to nowhere as I could get, and found out that it was more of a place than anywhere I’ve been in a long time.” ~ Hank Green

I got up a little early today to watch the sun come up. I can’t remember the last time I did that.

Continue reading “Day 6: Trail Magic”