Sunsets in San Jacinto

I probably should have known that we might be in for a curveball after passing the reroute sign for livestock as we entered the San Jacinto Mountains

As we ascended the winds also picked up. Lizzy and I had to use our rain gear to protect ourselves from the sustained fifty mile an hour wind trying to blow us off the mountainside. 

There were also many blowdowns that felt like little puzzles. Here the trail was quite narrow and climbed around the thin edges of tiny cliffs. One can see other thru-hikers on ledges far away, looking like billy goats balancing on nothing. 

A constant fog pushed  in from the west. Rolling into the valleys beneath the trail. The trail runs over the wooded ridgeline above Idyllwild and whenever you looked west all you could see was a sea of clouds that seemed to go on forever. 

Though the hiking was a little slow going through the the views were far more rewarding than the difficulty. 

It took us until midnight before finding enough of a flat space to pitch our tent but by this time the wind was howling.

 Lizzy and I had to use stones to weigh down our stakes. The wind was so strong that we were nervous our tent might collapse, but Nemo knows what they’re doing and our Dagger Osmo held up great that night. 

The next day we hiked into Idyllwild. It was a beautiful morning and the trail meandered through a mountaintop meadow where the birds sang and creeks babbled. As we finished the blue blaze to the trailhead Lizzy and I ran into a couple who thru-hiked the PCT last year but had to skip this section due to snow. They gave us a ride into town and shared some helpful tips and stories from their thru-hike. 

Idyllwild is a perfect trail town. Everything a hiker needs is right there and the community is so helpful and kind. Since the free camping was closed we split a cabin with Buckeye and Whoopi (another couple we have been hiking with).

 I would highly recommend staying at the Idyllwild Inn; our cabin was everything we needed. It had a full kitchen, living room with a fireplace and a small porch with a picnic table out back. The four of us went to the grocery store and got ourselves a thru hiker feast: four frozen pizzas, two bags of chicken wings, two bags of pizza rolls and a box of ice cream sandwiches. 

And to answer your next question, yes we devoured the whole thing while watching old dvds and lounging on the couches by the fireplace. What a perfect nero. 

Oh! And we got to meet the mayor of the Town Max the golden retriever



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