Our day started with a light breeze and light drizzle. The breeze stuck with us, as did the clouds, but luckily we were dry all day.
We even pondered how many flasks of high-octane hooch would be required to get over falling in this beautiful flower.
It was a weird day for both of us. Apparently I hadn’t had enough to eat in the morning and slowly ground to a halt. A mid-morning snack of about 700 calories got us back on track. In the afternoon, the chafing set in, slowing us down.
Throughout the day, the clouds hung low. A wind advisory had been issued the night before, but we had yet to experience anything strong. Yet.
We were aiming for what looked like meadows on our map. But first we had some climbing to do, as well as a lot of traverses along steep hillsides. we ascended into the clouds and that’s when the winds picked up.
That’s also when I joked that we were done, as we were already in Washington.
It was good fun setting up the tent in soft soil, with winds in the 30-40mph range with higher gusts. Not to mention temps falling into the mid-40’s.
But somehow we managed to get the tent set up and secure enough that it stayed in place all night. Good thing, since the wind never let up.
Day 13 – 14 / 149
A wet, windy, cold morning greeted us. But we were warmed by the notion of a food stop at Paradise Cafe, a well known food stop just off the trail. Most go for the oversized burgers, but we were hitting it during breakfast hours. So an oversized omelet for Jen, steak and eggs for me, biscuits and gravy for both of us.
Then it was back out into the rain and wind for a 10-mile road walk.
A large stretch of the upcoming trail over the top of Mt San Jacinto has been closed for a few years due to fire damage. There are alternates, but the road walk made the most sense to us.
Some hikers have pre-conceived notions about the road walk and choose to hitchhike to Idyllwild instead. That’s not for us, as we are hiking to Canada, not skipping sections that aren’t appealing or inconvenient.
All told, that stretch took just over three hours to cover and now it’s behind us. No big deal and a very miniscule issue in the grand scheme of the hike. But it was great prep for upcoming detours, both planned and unplanned.
Our intent is continuous footsteps.
Day 14 – 14 / 163
After getting into camp and setting up in the wind-driven cold rain, we hopped into the tent. It was a while before sunset, but there was no sense in standing out in the mess.
While lying there trying to warm up, Jen insisted that I book a room for the following night in Idyllwild, just a short hike up the hill. I quickly found one that showed pics of fireplaces in the rooms and the deal was sealed. It wouldn’t help us in the tent, but visions of propping our feet up in front of the fire helped.
Overnight the storm cleared. The 2am potty call was in brisk air but beautifully clear skies. We slept well.
The hike up to Idyllwild was clear and warm, meandering through the burn area that caused this PCT detour. Even with the burnt trees, it was a beautiful hike, as the low shrubs have rebounded nicely and the mountains provided the backdrop.
During the hike, we realized that we had started two weeks prior. Already quite a few miles under the feet, but many more to go.
Day 15 – 8 / 171