I started off from Julian with 8litres plus one additional litre of Gatorade and finished up at the Barrel Spring water source with about 1.75 and did not use the cache! I’m actually really proud of myself for moderating my water and planning my food so that I didn’t use much water. I had been worried but no need!
The trail out of Julian was, again, surprising. You hear or read about these difficult climbs out so are prepared but the trail builders and maintenance crew do such a great job! It was a nicely graded trail through gorgeous desert mountains: the flora just looked like it was arranged for a botanical garden!
We ended up hiking to about mile point 86 (from 77) and I got to experience my first night hike. I have mixed feelings about night hiking. On one hand, it was so much nicer walking in the cooler weather. I had more energy, felt much better, and it definitely helped with water conservation. On the negatives, you can’t see much and I really dislike finding a camp spot in the dark. I’m not sure how much more night hiking I’ll do. It will make sense for some of the upcoming longer, notoriously hot sections in the Mojave but I don’t think I’ll be a night hiking enthusiast like some people are.
I got to see a rosy boa (snake)! It was so cool! Apparently they are difficult to come across so I actually feel pretty special for seeing one.
The weather has cooled down for a few days so here’s hoping I can get a few bigger mileage days in!
I’m now in Idylwild after hitching in at mile 152. I have been stressing about this des ink for a few days. There’s a fire closure reroute from mile 162-177. Most people seem to have hitched into town (a super popular stop) and not do the reroute which gives you the extra 10 miles of PCT but also adds another 15 of mixed single track, power line, and closed roads…so do I try to keep to the philosophy of a “continuous foot path from Mexico to Canada” or accept, as suggested by Adam, that skipping 10 miles is not goin to ruin my hike? I guess you know which way I decided on! Part of that decision was also the realization that when I get back on trail out of Idylwild I get on the PCT at mile 179. This means missing another 2 miles of official trail but gave me no pause or desire to hike back that 2 miles. Guess I’m no purist!! Also adding to my decision (I had made it last night) was my walking through snow and fairly miserable weather this morning! It was puking pretty great and I wished I had my skis. I do plan on hiking out tomorrow but am fully aware I could get caught in more snow. The snow came where I was camped at 4500 feet and the trail commences tomorrow at about 8100 ft and I climb to 9000 ft before the descent…!
I’m hoping to get to Big Bear Lake in 4 days where I had been planning on taking a zero day… But maybe not. I may get antsy and choose to leave in the afternoon given the rest stop here Idyllwild!
Thanks for all the cheers and the “virtual cheezie” that was sent! Had a good chuckle on that one!