Saturday, May 19, 2012

Days 19-22: Long Days

PCT Mile 369.5

Right out of the gate from Big Bear City, we started putting in big miles. We left town and hiked our planned 20 miles by 3 pm. So we decided to keep going. 7 miles later we stopped to camp at Holcomb Creek with tired feed and many other hikers. The day had perfect hiking weather and easy, level terrain. It was lovely, and maaaybe we got a little arrogant because after that we just kept plugging away at big mile days. The next day, things started out bright and sunny, we passed the 300 mile mark, and took a long siesta with friends under a big tree at a creek oasis.  We passed the Deep Creek hot springs and moved on to the spillway.  Exhausted and hot, we cooked dinner and decided (due to limited/no camping options nearby) to push on to the next spring... miles and miles away. We (along with the Usual Suspects: Bronco, Fairway, Auto Pilot and Brother Man) got our first night hike in, arriving at Grass Valley camp at 8:30 (after nearly 25 miles).


Lupine!

Burnt forest

Deep Creek bridge one

Deep Creek

MILE 300! Kanji, Brother Man, Auto Pilot, YS, and Fairway (Hallmark up front)

The next morning we woke up exhausted, but somehow made the decision to keep up our high mileage... this time, the end goal was a Best Western at I-15. This turned out to be the most exhausting day yet for me and Trav.  At some point we were so hot, dehydrated and worn out, we stopped taking care of ourselves like we normally do. We didn't eat enough, didn't change our socks, didn't hydrate enough.  Around 3pm, we nearly totally bonked. Sitting right in the dirt, in the shade of a power line transformer, I put the hurt on a Clif Bar and other snacks,  just in time for Auto Pilot to pass with the info that we were a mere mile away from the Best Western. So we charged off toward the highway to reap our reward of a king sized bed and a shower. The following morning we faced a big climb up Cajon Pass and through what is usually extremely hot, dry terrain.  The hiking gods smiled upon us and brought in that great California marine layer... meaning we had a foggy sky and diffused sun for hours. We came upon an excellent cache where we enjoyed bubbly water, lounge chairs and a Funfetti cupcake. First class!

Foggy morning under the underpass

First class cache!

Just loungin'.

The afternoon came and went, and we completed our 22 miles with time in the evening to hang out and build a fire with friends.  Iceman, Just Retired, Matt and Maple joined us at Guffy Campground.


Enthusiastic hitchhiking, 8:30 am

This morning we made our quick 5 miles trip out the Highway 2, caught a ride into Wrightwood and promptly visited the Evergreen Cafe for the Mountain Man breakfast.  Tonight we'll rest at the Pine Motel and resupply at the grocery store so that we can head out tomorrow.

This last stretch was tough. But we did it. We put in long miles and realized what we can do and what is too much.  Though my feet ache, they continue to propel me Northward.  

3 comments:

  1. Love the lupine! And Meeg, way to represent women out there with all those guys! Lordy!

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  2. that's some vibrant lupine, mag! when you get back i have to share with you one of my favorite books from when i was a squirt- 'miss rumphius' -all about the lupine lady...

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  3. Amazing adventure, but you had me at funfetti cupcake!!! What a treat to walk up to. Look at that crew you have! SO. MUCH. FUN.

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