Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 19th - May 21st - Warner Springs to Idyllwild

Day 5 - May 19 - ended at mile 126.9. Woke at dawn about four miles south of Warner Springs, my first resupply point. Hiked thru a beatiful meadow and forest to get there. Saw Western Meadowlark and Horned Lark. Meadowlarks sing well. In Warner Springs they have a nice community center with lots for hikers: bathrooms to wash up in, a small store, tables to sit at and organize mail drops and socialize. Even got coffee and some breakfast. Washed out my socks for the first time too. Headed back out after 3 hours in the heat of the day. Long climb out with lots of food but thankfully not much water to carry. Leapfrogged with Chris, Firestarter, and Sherwin all afternoon. Senic views walking around mountains and thru boulders but hot again so I kinda just zoned in on the walking. Thankful for my umbrella since it's near constant sun. We got to mike's place, a trail angel who lives on this mountain at the end of a dirt road. They made us pizza and have beer and soda here. Even played basketball. Now it's time for bed. Supposed to be cool tomorrow.

Day 6 - May 20 - end at wooded campsite at mile 155.9. Headed out from Mike's Place as the sun was starting to come up. The mountain was shrouded my mist so the first half our was quite chilly. Wind and the rising sun made short work of clouds surrounding us and by 7am the sun was once again beating down. A Mountain Quail ran along the trail ahead of me and  I saw a flock of Bushtits in a bush. Today we had a 25 mile walk between and around the mountain to get to the Paradise Valley Cafe. While sky was free of clouds it never got that hot today so we made short work of the distance and we're rewarded with burgers, fries, and beer as an afternoon lunch. We put in 4 more miles thru probably the most technical section so far (still super easy by east coast standards) and found this nice spot to stay. Just me and Chris tonight but we met some nice hikers along the way: Jake, Paul, Ultraviolet, and Thomas. We may see the last two of them tomorrow. I hope we do. We only know of one other person going our pace and she always seems to be a few miles up. Hope as others develop their trail legs we'll find some companions. Now time for tortillas with couscous. Junco out.

Day 7 - may 21 - end in Idyllwild, CA near mile 178. Today was an interesting day. Chris and I headed up towards Lion Peak and Pyramid Peak. It was cold and only got colder ad we reached 7000ft. The wind was blowing hard, we were in a cloud, and hail even fell for a minute or so and rime ice covered the plants. This was the highest mountain I'd ever been on and it was real pretty. We could see the desert floor way below us. At the top the PCT was closed beyond for a while due on 2013 wild fire. We had to take a detour to reconnect with the trail. The detour was really nice on a combo of jeep tracks and trail. There was 1.5 miles of highway walking in the 20 mile detour but we got to stop at a store there. So far I've had beer 5 out of 8 days I've been in California. Lots of nice views especially walking thru the regenerating meadows that were damaged by the fire as part of our detour. We got to Idlywild in the afternoon and tomorrow will hike up to rejoin the PCT just beyond the closed section. We are staying at the state campground here with lots of hikers. Had my first shower since starting. Also had a pint of vegan ice cream and a sandwich. Sonic and Chipotle and crew are here. Real nice to see them again. There are Oregon Juncos here! My first non slate colored dark eyed juncos!

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