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.

It wasn’t as difficult for me as it was for Sage, however. As we hiked higher, more and more snow covered the trail. Sage did not have microspikes, his one hiking pole broke, and the tread on his boots were so worn they were shiny. We tried to help by kicking steps into the snow, but he slipped all over.  As they say out here, though, the trail provides. We found one discarded YakTrak on the trail – it wasn’t much help, but better than nothing – and shortly thereafter found an abandoned hiking pole for him to use. A few minutes later we ran into a guy wearing the other YakTrak and Katie convinced him to let us have it so Sage would have the pair.  It’s funny how things fall into place when we need them to.

We finally made it to the campground and I tried to eat two days worth of food for dinner so my pack would lighten up a bit, but I barely made a dent. Hiker hunger hasn’t hit yet, and I’m working on not packing six days of food for three day stretches, but for now the struggle continues.

After dinner I snuggled up in my quilt with my water filter so neither I nor it would freeze. Tomorrow, the plan is to go up to the top of San Jacinto early in the morning, then rejoin the PCT for the descent down Fuller’s Ridge.

The ride to the trailhead, right before my sunglasses flew off my head and I had to chase them down the road.
A change in scenery.
Suicide trail. Sounds interesting.