Started: 07:45 @ MM 172.0 – Estimated position, off trail due to fire closure.
Finished: 11:15 @ MM 179.4 – Idyllwild
Water: Drank 2L plus bottomless coffee and soda in town.
Food: Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Hash Browns and Pancakes. Lifesaver Gummies. Pizza and Greek Salad.
Health: 0 Blisters. Feet much happier with short day!
Once again, our reward for a long hard yesterday was a relatively short hike into town today. I was looking forward to a Nero and all the associated Trail Town luxuries, but first we needed to get there. It was a really cold night and I woke several times and had burrow deeper down into my feathery nest to stay warm. When I emerged just after 6am, there was a thin layer of ice on both the outside and inside of my tent! These desert temperatures continue to baffle me.
We finally got underway and had another 8 miles of the putrid fire closure to walk, including 2 miles on the road. I was already totally over this road walking malarkey but I sucked it up and got the job done. Walking into Idyllwild was a great feeling. It is a super cool town and very hiker friendly. The mayor of Idyllwild is a dog called Max … How can you fail to love a town that has a dog for a major! Within minutes of arriving, a wonderful lady randomly approached me and pulled a little bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies from her bag and handed them too me … “You thru-hikers need a little taste of home” she chirped and hurried along to spread her magic elsewhere. Our first stop would of course be breakfast and it didn’t disappoint! Next stop was the campground where a herd of hikers were already hanging out. Flat ground was hard to come by but I found some, got myself settled and then headed back to town to resupply for the next section.
The trail has a unique way of keeping you in the moment and I hadn’t until now given much consideration to what lie ahead. It transipres that I have some significant challenges to deal with … another big fire closure (this one with no viable work around), 5,000ft elevation gain and a pretty dismal weather forecast. Chance and I spent the evening scoffing pizza and going over our options, none of which were perfect. For now the plan was to head out in the morning and spend the next 2 days hiking up and over the San Jacinto range (10,000ft) and then re-evaluating the closure section once we reached Ziggy and the Bear’s at Whitewater.