Miles 164.5-177 (12.5 miles)
I was woken up this morning in the most epic way possible, by a puppy!! :D. A wonderful way to wake up, following a crappy night. Lol. It was super windy and my tent blew out its stakes around 1:30am and collapsed (it's not a freestanding tent so unless it's held down by stakes it will fall over). I tried to look for my extra stakes, because when it's really windy I stake down the corners and usually it'll hold. My stakes were in a black bag that was the same color as my tent floor and I couldn't find them, for the life of me. Plus I was pretty pissed, which didn't help. So I spent the hours of 130am-245am staking my tent back down, having it collapse on me, trying to find my extra stakes, all to no avail. Mind you, its really cold and windy. Eventually, I just said, "screw it" and took my sleeping bag out and slept outside on top of my collapsed tent. It actually worked out pretty nice. I discovered that if I slide all the way to the bottom of the bag and cinch the head part closed, I am totally cocooned but with enough airflow it's comfortable to breathe. Stoked!! My sleeping bag is soooo warm!!! <3
So anyhow, Trigger wakes me up this morning, which is awesome because puppies always make me smile. :). Plus it was a beautiful morning and sunny so hey, what's not to love? I spent the whole morning chilling at the campsite with Disciple (Luc) and Trigger. They are section hiking, and going the opposite way as I, so I won't see them again, which is quite sad. :( I always seem to meet the coolest people either as they or I are leaving.
I made coffee! Ooo it was yummy :). There's a pic of Luc and I, and he is holding the cup of coffee. I also took a pic of Trigger who was napping. Trigger is an amazing hiking dog, but he sure is good at napping too! :)
Today was a pretty tough day. The trail dropped a lot in elevation and then there were a couple steep inclines. I tried going as fast as I could but much of the trail was loose rocks with a 1000' drop on one side, so it was sketchy. But oh my gosh the views were AMAZING!!! I am really high up right now, I feel like I'm on top of the world!! :D I can see forever out there, it's so crazy! Its really cool to look behind me and realize, "holy crap I just walked up that mountain!!" :D consequentially, it's gnarly to look ahead and realize, "holy crap i have to go up *that*?!?" haha :)
it's so cool how the trail winds around both sides of the mountain peaks, so sometimes you get a view of the desert (palm springs in the distance?), sometimes you get a view of the valley, and when you're on the saddle ridge you get a view of both. It is absolutely breathtaking. :). There were so many times today I came around a corner and said "WOW" out loud. And I'm by myself. Lol. Oh! Speaking of which, I ran into Maya (Focus?) today!! The gal I started at the border with, who is super cool! I'm so stoked to see her again! :) I also passed Little Feet and her hubby (I forget his name), and Brrritto (3 r's, no u, as she explained. Lol) and Some Guy.
It was sooooo windy and chilly today. Even if i am sheltered from the wind I can hear it. It's so cool. I love the sound of wind. The pic below of the hillside with the big boulder in the upper left corner, with the line across the hill, the line is the trail. That one particular section was *so windy* I felt like I was gonna blow away. I literally ran across that whole part because it was so cold.
So today I encountered...
about 1/2 hr ago at 8:30. Thats so nuts! He/she was hiking through that snow, wind, and cold, in the dark!! Whoever this person is I think setup their tent next to me. Yay, someone to block my wind! Lol. I wonder who it is, but its too cold outside, I'll find out in the morning. :) I setup camp in the same area as Blacksnake, there's a stream nearby (stoked!!), and the best thing is we're less than 2 miles from the trail into Idyllwild!! Yippee!!
Originally I was aiming to get into Idyllwild tonight, but I have to pick up a package that arrives tomorrow. So it's a good thing I ended up hanging with Luc and Trigger, and getting a late start this morning (I didn't get going til 1030 which is 4 hours later than when I normally start hiking).
My pack is feeling a lot more comfortable. It's also a lot lighter too, since I ate almost all my food. Lol. Stoked!
Tomorrow should be a relatively mellow day. I have a 500' climb and 500' descent. Ugh I hope the snow is super mellow. 2 miles to trail junction, 2.5 miles down toward Idyllwild, and hopefully a hitch into town, or a 2.5 mile walk to town. Yay! I really need to do laundry and clean all my stuff. Including myself. Lol.