Saturday: (05/03) On the trail at 0620. My night was comfortable even though I slept next to a snow patch. I never heard it snore. It probably heard me. I had some trail mix for breakfast. Another 2+ miles down hill, on a much nicer trail than yesterday, brought me back to the main Pacific Crest Trail at mile 186.6.
About 0830 I stopped for a second breakfast. When I was at Idyllwild I stopped in a natural foods store for some electrolytes and they gave me a package of trail mix. Best I’ve had. Sprouted almonds, cashews, and pistachio nuts with dried mulberries and goji berries.. Made a nice breakfast. At 1030, about 1.5 miles after I exited the wilderness, I stopped for my lunch. Odd timing? I was hungry. My stove was nice enough to work so I had mashed potatoes with cheese and some jerky. As it turns out, that was it for dining until midnight, except for a little trail mix. Today was a long 22 mile hike down the mountain with some pretty good climbs as well. I still haven’t figured out why the trails go up so much to get down a mountain. Elevation wise, I came down 8000 feet today. When I was exposed enough at one of my rest stops, I called Lou. She is going to have surgery on her knee later this week or next so I decided to exit the trail here and head home. There have been lots of flowers along the trail like above right.
The hike has been rather plentiful with snakes but I didn’t stumble onto one on the trail myself until mile 199, above left. A nice rattler. I eventually convinced it to move off the trail. Above right is the mile 200 marker about 3/4 of the way down the mountain.
I arrived at the bottom in a tiny residential area called Snow Creek about 2000. The last 30 minutes were hiking with my headlamp. I stopped by a street sign with two street names and a house address so a taxi could find me. I reserved a room and then had an interesting time getting a taxi to come out of town so far to pick me up. Third time was the charm. I was dropped off at my motel at 2320. Actually, it was the motel that didn’t have a room, for me. For some reason I had the driver bring me there rather than the one that did have a room. Weekends are busy. Fortunately my motel was just a half mile down the road. On the walk there I stopped for dinner at Carrow’s Restaurant. Good thing too since they closed at midnight. I think the crews were already out rolling up the sidewalks here in Banning. I checked in to the motel and then reserved a room for tomorrow as well. Brother Ernie is picking me up. We’ll have to spend the night so I can stop in Big Bear City at the Post Office to get my resupply box and bounce bucket.
Even though it was late I did my wash and then took a bath. The mountain must be a little shorter since I came down with so much dirt. My feet really didn’t give me much trouble but I did get a few blisters and bruised several toenails. Looks bad but really no pain. 22 miles today.