Dust and dirt and stench and walking.
Decided that waiting a week to give a synopsis on everyday uses way too much memory power and requires way too much thumb dexterity typing on this iPhone thing. Sorry if it seems like a bombardment blogging wise, but for my mental health and thumb’s health I’m gonna do one everytime we hit town. Which has been waaaay more often than I expected.
Day Nine: Comb’s Ridge, Mile 129.2
We sadly left Warner Springs today. Our little haven from the rain with free pancakes and cheap spaghetti dinners. But we’re here to hike. So we did twenty miles. This stretch of trail was actually pretty sweet: we saw a few different landscapes in just our two-oh miles of hiking. We folllowed Agua Caliente, a beautiful winding creek, for a good number of miles, and it was surrounded by big trees (lemme tell ya, seeing bark, trunks, and leaves that are above your head after passing miles and miles of cacti is a relief) and poison oak. I walked a little slower cause I know how my body deals with poison oak: massily swollen rash explosion which I do NOT need again.
We climbed up to more desert and then rounded a ridge to some awesome boulder fields. It was like the titans from Greek mythology had a rock throwing contest. Just massive peach colored boulders everywhere. My knee felt good cause of the uphill and Roller has lent me her brace. Again, what I would do without these people is beyond me. They are so so wonderful.
Oh! It snowed a bit the previous day, one of the reason’s we zeroed and we saw the remenants! Haven’t seen it since Colorado.
We hiked to “Mike’s Place”, which is some guy’s weekend getaway home out in the major boonies. Every time we see house we think it’s a meth factory. That’s how boonie it is. Mike wasn’t there but the caretaker was, with beer, WATERMELON, and chicken. You think water melon is good on a hot summer day by a poolside? Imagine it after hiking in the sun, you smell like a cow, and the last time you had fresh fruit was more than a week ago. Fucking amazing. Damn it was good. After engulfing that in one bite, it was like endocytosis on hyperspeed I ate it so fast, we wandered onto a campsite two miles out. It was described as “exposed” and that was…quite accurate. We camped in the semi-extreme wind and my tent held up! It’s stands by two trekking poles crisscrossed at the front and a stake that pulls them vertical. Great description, I know. Everyone doubted it would stay standing but BOOM! I was triumphant. You can bet I was rubbing it in their faces.
When I say we, it changed a bit from the original tramly. Just for two nights. Fire Ant, Wilder, and Dandilion went four miles from Mike’s cause they are smart and didn’t want to sleep in the wind. So I camped with Pony Express and two freaking hilarious Canadians, Crimson and Sam. We talked about shrink wrap porn and poop. It was great.
The wind had stopped around three in the morning so we got…some…sleep. I’m just stoked my tent stayed up.
I hiked by myself for the first half of the day. There is so much time to just think when you’re hiking. And when you are trying to distract yourself from the pain. Sometimes weird thoughts, like how many ants have I have squashed, what exactly do I smell like, if someone I’m thinking about is thinking about at the same time, weird stuff. At least I am still attractive. To flies. Pretty sure I have lost all human resemblence when it comes to smell and dirtiness. It is pretty cool not looking in mirrors, but then when you do it’s definitely a “Holy Shit” moment. I mean we all REEK. Straight up grunge and stench. Haven’t shaved my armpits since I started so I’m pretty sure it’s as long as it was pre-middle school. And that’s the best part, you just don’t care. Because everyone is in the same, dirty boat.
It was a tribute to Walden and Thoreau for some 100 year anniversary thing. There was even a mini library and Thoreau and Walden cut outs! Chloe, you would have loved it. We stashed up on water and then me and Pony camped with Crimson and Sam again. This time at a very sheltered campsite.
We woke up early again, 5am, to hike the six miles to Paradise Valley Cafe. It was sweet. We climbed through some intense mist then walked along the ridgeline before descending to the road. My knee is feeling good, but I don’t wanna get too excited yet.
Paradise Valley Cafe was absolutely prime. Freaking delicious. I got a burrito the size of an infant and ate it in probably 15 minutes. Hiker hunger is a real thing. Very, very real. Ten miles of the trail were closed with a seventeen mile detour. So you could hitch into Idyllwild from the Cafe or walk. We decided to hitch. I definitely feel guilty…. but apparently some of the detour is on a road which is just not appealing. Ugh I dunno. I feel impure but I am so happy to be in Idyllwild… I dunno.
Idyllwild feels like a benchmark. Our first hitch didn’t get us all the way into town so we had to get another. The women gave us tips and now I want to come back to this place. There are so many trails around here and the town is awesome. We got a mansion cabin for $30/night. It is unreal. Two stories, full kitchen, loft bed. Me being me didn’t want to spend the money but holy hell when I walked into the cabin I almost cried it was so nice. Straight up luxury.
The family is back together but probably splitting up tomorrow. Who knows if for good. It was a good run if it is for good. We’re gonna make a home cooked meal tonight and chill. And it’s Fire Ant’s 21st birthday! Woot woot. We’ll see what that entails. Got San Jacinto tomorrow, that’ll be a good climb. Until Big Bear! Ciao ciao.
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To all the trekkers on the PCT. I am hiking in spirit with my favorite granddaughter. Please keep being nice. Don’t make me stop the car. Wait. That’s what I often said to her father. Now I’m all confused.