Well, we made it to our house in Whitewater at around 11am this morning. That makes 220 miles for me, and 170 miles for Frazier on the Pacific Crest Trail. WOO HOO!! I feel good too! I definitely feel stronger and like I have my stride down now. My average has been 20 miles a day and I am sure I can up that some days now. I am suffering from no blisters at the moment and no injuries other than some soreness/moderate pain on the meat/pad of my right foot. So I feel pretty proud of that.
Today’s hike was down the remainder of the Snow Creek grade off Fuller Ridge in the San Jacinto mountains, and it was tough. Not only did we descend for 12.5 miles, but we did so in this crazy, up and down meandering trail that seemed to go on forever. I expected some direct switchbacks, but they were instead long, flat or rolling. We were both trying to figure out why the trail builders built in this way, and decided that it must be either the ‘scenic route’ or for horses. But we made it and it was still beautiful. Lots of huge boulders and great views of the mountain and snow creek. It was crazy to look up at the peak, and know we were pretty close to it (about 9,000 feet) just yesterday at noon. We descended over 9000 feet in less than 20 hours. Crazy!! Plus, it was pretty hot today by 8am! We made it though, and were greeted by one of our friends with cold drinks who lives right on the trail in snow creek village 🙂 VERY nice reward.
So, even though I just had a rest day (zero) in Idyllwild with Frazier, I will be resting here at home for the next 2 days. One, so I can take my mom out for Mother’s Day, and two, to get my resupply boxes finished. Now that I have been out on the trail for 2 weeks, I know a little bit better about how to pack my food and supplies for the rest of the trail (like, more socks, sunscreen, soaps, town clothes, and of course, more food). Then I will get back on the trail Tuesday morning and head towards Big Bear.
This morning it was kind of congested on the trail down to Snow Creek. We passed 8 other hikers, 4 of which we knew and had hiked with previously. Our friends that we have been hiking with for the past 4 days because our pace has been the same, will maybe stop by Whitewater tonight and camp here. We invited them over for dinner. They are Nick and Braveheart. Very cool dudes.
I am so impressed by the people we have met so far on the trail. Everyone is so cool and interesting. It seems like a few people had to stay in Idyllwild for a few more days than they expected due to blister/foot problems. One of those is our friend Patrick from Seattle. He was one of the hikers we really liked. I hope he gets back on the trail soon. We hung out with him for a bit in Idyllwild, eating pizza and drinking beer together.
It is good to be home, showered and in normal clothes. It feels a bit weird, I must admit, but good at the same time. I definitely appreciate nice things, although now I know I dont NEED them. Frazier and I are even going to go see a movie this afternoon before cooking dinner with our friends tonight 🙂
Lets see….I want to share the things I have been learning along the way, so I thought I would post a few per day.
1. A 15 degree synthetic sleeping bag is too warm for this time of year here (even on our coldest night where it reached freezing)
2. Its not good to wear layers even when its cold because you sweat too much. The sweat cools you faster than you think. So, no wind breaker, no insulating jacket, no rain jacket unless it is actually raining.