Saddle junction to mile 190.5
11.1 miles + 2.5 (Devils Slide) + 2 (getting lost off trail…) = ~15.6 miles
Today was certainly quite the adventure. Tots, her mom and I woke up in the cabin around 6. We went into town to buy Tots new shoes and to get smoothies. I got a wheatgrass shot and a probiotic smoothie. Super tasty! Then we went back to the cabin where we stuffed our faces with the left over pasta, and desserts from the night before. I’m super jealous of Tots new shoes. She got altras and I never understood the hype, until I tried them on. They’re goofy lookin, but man they’re comfy. My shoes are definitely too small when my feet swell, but I will have a new pair next weekend hopefully. I have three more pairs stashed at home that I scored from an REI garage sale. And luckily they are all a bit bigger than these! So excited. My toes are mad at me.
We headed out around noon to Saddle Junction where the trail starts up again after the closure. I was curious as to why the trail was called Devils Slide. I looked on my guthook app and checked out the elevation gain and understood… Man I was dyin!! My body thought I was done after that nero! It’s crazy how quickly you get get used to being back in “real life” or whatever you call it. Being in town in a warm bed and such. It felt bizarre! Somehow, today was probably one of the toughest days for me so far. The incline back up to the trail, and I forgot to mention the thunderstorm with hail and snow!
It has also been one of the most eventful and amazing days. After a few miles back on the trail, Tots and I met Dillon. He’s 20 years old as well, and it was his first day! He decided to start in Idyllwild and wants to get to Canada. We have been a fun group. After about an hour of hiking together and chatting, Tots said something along the lines of “I can’t imagine people riding a horse on this part” and later we found out that we were deep off trail. It took us forever to realize, but we had gone at least a mile off onto another trail somehow. With all of the snow and fallen trees, it was a bit hard to follow. We all became bummed and tried to cheer ourselves up with our veggie jerky. It was really good…. But we were still lost as heck. After an hour or so we finally made it back to the trail. Once the climb ended and the thunder and hail stopped, we all became happier than ever. Motivating each other, and accepting the fact that this little mess up was just something we were meant to experience. Everything is auspicious!
We passed a few streams with cute little waterfalls and filled up our bottles. It was so strange, to go from hot and dry desert, to being almost 10,000 feet up with tons of snow, thunder, hail, pine trees and cold air. But man, the views have been phenomenal! The world is incredible.
Because we had our little “detour”, we cut time pretty short and it was getting dark, fast. We night hiked for about an hour, through snow. We all took turns slipping and sliding. I had to lend Dillon one of my trekking poles because he didn’t have any and kept falling! I was getting too worried. He has learned and plans on getting some in the next town with a gear shop. Those things have saved my life so many times.
We arrived at the campground at around 9pm. It is so full of hikers, which is crazy because we hadn’t seen anyone for almost the whole day. We all pitched our shelters in the flattest spots we could find that weren’t too close to the snoring hikers. No dinner tonight, but I ate a piece of dark chocolate and I am content. It’s probably one of the coldest nights I have experienced so far.
Holy moly, today has been one hell of a day. Heading to Ziggy and Bears tomorrow to get picked up by Sonya (a nice lady I hiked with on a section hike last month!) to get around the next closure! We have about 20 miles, and have to be there at 4. Its all downhill, so we should be fine. Pretty excited to be in big bear tomorrow night.