I’m a bit behind on my blogs. Had a few people worry about me. Sorry!! But not really. I was lost in the mountains… Not literally, of course, but I had no service.
Day 20 – 5.2 miles in the morning and then 6 at night. So around 11 miles
Woke up early to get to Ziggy and the Bear. Crossed some dry desert and came across another rattler who shook his rattle at us to warn us we were about to step on him
And then kept going. It was all flat but got hot fast and we were sweating profusely by the time we got to the 10 freeway.
Thankfully, by the time we got under the freeway, we found some trail magic – someone had left a cooler with ice cold sodas and clementines! The other hikers from mile 206, Wild Bill and Deep, had caught up to us by that time.
I usually hate soda but had a Dr Pepper which was ice cold and tasted delicious. Had a couple of clementines and then we moved on, determined to beat the worst of the heat.
Got to Ziggy and The Bear, a husband and wife who’d been hosting hikers for forever. They literally have hearts of gold. Both were so kind and graciously let us, complete strangers, into their home. Signed us in, gave us a cold Gatorade and showed us the showers and everything.
Jen had a friend driving nearby sometime in the day and I had been obsessing about In N Out – a West Coast hamburger joint with debatably the best burgers EVERRRR. Jen assured me she’d get me to it if her friend would take us. This made the heat much easier to bear.
However, all of us hikers got hungry fast and ordered Little Ceasar’s pizza. I shared a whole pizza with Kim. Everyone else got their own huge box of pizza. Proof:
That meant I wasn’t hungry at all anymore, not even for In N Out so when a past PCT hiker offered a ride into town, I didn’t take him up for it. But, mentally, I still wanted a double double, protein style – no onions- with light spread. But the pizza had filled my intestines and there was nothing I could do but pray it come out before I left to hike again.
I spent the rest of the day, chugging water with electrolytes and praying for the heat to stop. My feet hurt. I thought I’d stay an extra day and leave at night the next day but, when the day started to cool down around 6pm, I felt alive and just wanted to hike. I had to wait a bit for my new awesome friend, Jen, to finish dinner with her friend and pack up before we could go but, around 8:30pm, we finally said our goodbyes with the moon shining brightly for us.
“Billy The Goat”, an older hiker who’s hiked the PCT and many other trails, gave us some good pointers and wished us on our merry way.
We awkwardly had to climb under some barbwire fence since we didn’t take the same route back to the trail but we were stoked to be going out. We were adventurers!!!!
Jen was a trooper for being a new night hiker. Was hard to get any good shots since my iPhone is horrible at taking night shots.
We wanted to get to mile 218.6 that night, to the Whitewater Preserve. That meant 8.6 miles of night hiking. With us averaging around 2 1/2 miles per hour, that meant we wouldn’t get there until about 1-2am.
We got to a little over 216 and then encountered a REALLY crumbled up section of trail on a cliff side which we felt was really dangerous to cross so decided to camp out a little back, where we came from.
Pic of the trail the next day. Not so bad in sunlight but, at night, it was bad, that’s all loose gravel.
Day 21: mile 216 to 218.6 and then 218.6 to 226.2 – a little more than 10 miles
Woke up to cows shrieking desperately. I’ve lived in New Mexico and have NEVER heard such terrifying shrieks from cows. Jen has also hiked in and near herds of cows and had never heard anything. It was as if one of the cows had fallen and was yelling for help with his parents or fellow family cows yelling back at him/her.
We quickly got up, packed up and got our asses to Whitewater Preserve, which was an oasis. Bathrooms, wading pool, beautiful white sand and free camping for PCT hikers
We saw a snake coming in. Not sure what type of snake that was though. It wasn’t a rattler.
We set up camp, I ate and then slept on and off for many hours, having had such horrible sleep the last few nights. It was super windy.
Around 5:30, Gabriel – someone I’d met before on trail – came around, about to leave. He hung around until I was ready to go.
My shin was throbbing painfully and both Jen and Gabe told me it was shin splints, something new to me.
We wanted to get to 226. So we night hiked, despite everyone’s injuries coming out to play, to the creek to camp. Jen wanted to do more miles but Gabe and I were pooped so we all crashed.
Here are some pics
Just outside of Whitewater Preserve
Jen and Gabe. Jen hates when I take pics. Lol
The day before full moon. The moon was magnificent and I didn’t need my headlamp at all.