Location- Side of mountain
Distance Traveled Today- 15.7 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 159.7
Weather/Temp- Cold, windy 50-40-30
Injuries- something stuck in my shin
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 6
It was one hell of a windy night, and continued throughout the day. The weather did a bit of a 180 on us, and it never got any warmer than 57 degrees.
Katana and I busted out 8 miles before 10 am, to reach a road that led to a little cafe, about a mile from the trail head.
She killed the morning hike. She didn’t skip a beat, assuring me that her paw is 100%. I carried her down the road to the cafe, simply because I don’t like her walking on or near asphalt roads due to the materials they’re built with, and the garbage and glass that usually surround them.
After a couple hours with Schweppes, Hollywood, and another male hiker named Mason at the cafe, we decided to hit the trail again.
This next stretch was going to be an “iffy” one. There is a good stretch of the official PCT north of where it crosses hwy 74 that is closed due to fire damage. If you want to hike it, you will be able to hike ten miles of official PCT north of hwy 74 before the trail is closed. You then have to take a detour trail from that closure that will take you to a paved road, then a dirt road, then another trail that dead ends into hwy 74 again; then you road walk down 74 until you walk into the town of Idyllwild. That is the official detour/reroute of the trail.
Due to the extra turns and logistics of this detour, about 95% of the other hikers were skipping this entire section and hitchhiking up to Idyllwild, missing around 30 miles of walkable detour; not us. Myself, CatFox, Schweppes, and Mason all decided to hike the detour.
We made it back to the trailhead around 2pm, and got hiking. This stretch of trail was gorgeous, and unlike any other part of the trail up to this point. The rocks and boulders were bigger and more plentiful than anywhere else until now.
I had my first little emergency of the trip about 4 miles into this new section. I guess something at the cafe didn’t agree with me, but I had an emergency case of diarrhea as I mosied my way down the trail. I dropped my pack, leashed Katana to it, grabbed my shit tickets and dashed off the side of the trail into the desert shrubbery and out of sight. In my haste, I brushed against some plant I shouldn’t have, and wound up with something stuck in the side of my shin.
I didn’t look at it until business was finished, but I can feel something in there when I run my hand over it, and when I flex the muscle on the side of my shin (tibialis anterior). I can’t see what it is, but I need to get some tweezers and fish it out.
I caught up with Schweppes and Mason shortly after, as we made our way higher and higher up the mountain. The temperature dropped and the wind intensified up to frequent 30 to 40 mph gusts. The conditions were quickly becoming miserable, and the day growing late. We decided to stop at the next good campsite we encountered, rather than climb any higher. That campsite ended up being over 6,300 feet up, but luckily there were trees.
We all got set up and cozy in our sleeping bags, glad to be out of the harsh conditions. I laid there, snuggling with Katana in my hammock, looking up through my mosquito net at the tree canopy when a snow flake landed on it, then another…and another. In a matter of seconds, it was steadily snowing. I reluctantly hopped out of my warm nest and erected my rain fly before hopping back in.
I was not expecting this weather, and am secretly nervous that it might get worse than what I am equipped to deal with. I only have a 20 degree quilt, and no long pants/underwear. We’ll see how the night goes….