Hiked 23 miles to pct mile 553.
As we close in on mile 500, my trail name, K-PAX, has overtaken my real name. Apparently I look like Kevin Spacey in the movie K-PAX when I wear my sunglasses. Will have to rent it after the PCT.
Hiked 18 miles to pct mile 486. Listened to Monk play his didgeridoo, which is collapsable and fits on his backpack.
Stopping to pet these two beautiful horses on the way out of Agua Dulce caused us to miss our turnoff for the trail and continue down the street to a fenced yard filled with barking, angry dogs. Except that the dogs weren't fenced in, and ran from the driveway and up the street, chasing us for a good quarter mile. We were happy to be back on trail with the rattlesnakes, and hiked 14 miles to pct mile 468.
Lallygagging around camp before hitting the trail this morning, Belgian Red and I had a good conversation with a couple of guys walking their dogs. These guys spontaneously became our own private trail angels, giving us apples, string cheese, almonds, lollipops, among other goodies. All the early risers missed.out.
Hiked 16 miles to pct mile 412.
Hiked 24 miles to pct mile 384. Had a nice break at the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center. Met Chrissy, founder/owner of Dirty Girl Gaiters, on Mount Baden Powell. She was dressed head-to-toe in Dirty Girl print fabric. I was wearing my Giardia print gaiters, of course. After hiking to the peak (9399 ft), I continued along the pct.
Hiked 22 miles to pct mile 317. Midday, at about mile 306, I followed a trail to a couple of tiny private beaches along the creek. The first was occupied by a rattlesnake, which wasn't very active, as it was digesting whatever unlucky creature was.causing the bulge in its midsection. I chose to go to the next little beach, where I rinsed my shirt, socks and hair, and then stretched out on the sand for a bit. A bout a mile farther down the pct were some natural hot springs.
Hiked 20 miles, by Big Bear Lake, to pct me 295.
I've mentioned the burgers and pizza that I've eaten in trail towns, but I haven't told you what I eat on the trail. Mid-morning, I eat instant oatmeal mixed with water, which I no longer bother heating up. Then I snack on granola bars, protein bars, or cliff bars during the day. In the evening, I heat water for ramen noodles or couscous. I also pop a multivitamin every few days.
Hiked 3 miles to pct mile 275, then started walking down Van Dusen Road into Big Bear. Within a half mile, a guy driving an old military vehicle gave me a lift into town.
Met my friend Derek for burgers and beer, and more beer. And he even ran me to the grocery store, where I resupplied for the hike to Wrightwood.
One of the strangest things about a thru-hike is how you meet, become separated from, and reunite with other hikers. People hike at different speeds, become sidelined by blisters and.knee pain, or simply take an extra day off trail to visit friends. You might lose track of the people you started hiking with and then see them reappear on the trail a week or two later.
Hiked 25 miles to pct mile 272. Will resupply in Big Bear tomorrow.
Hiked 8 miles to route 10, pct mile 209, where my friend Ray picked me up and brought me into Cabazon. The last 3 miles to route 10 is slow going, as you're pushing your way head on into a wind corridor over soft sand. But you might find coolers of water, beer, and soda under the highway when you finally make it there. Thanks for the cold Sunkist, Lake2Lake.
Cabazon isn't a great town for a nero and a zero day unless you have friends there. Was great to see everyone, and Ray and Stasia grilled a delicious carne asada for dinner and fried perfect eggs for breakfast the next morning.
Was also a great feeling to resupply, clean up, and soak my feet in an epsom salt bath. My feet are a little swollen and bruised but not blistered, so I consider myself lucky.