BROKE RECORDS TODAY!
Woahh, why did we choose today to hike 24 miles in the heat?!
It was a beautiful morning with some amazing views coming off the mountain. We lost about 6500ft in elevation. As the crow flies, it was about 4 miles to the bottom but it took us 20 miles to get to the bottom with all the switchbacks!!
Boombox, Fish and I had a nice day filled with heat, thirst, music and dancing. The heat pushed our limits right before we reached the 200 mark. We were desperate for shade and found a huge boulder to climb under for a bit of a rest and lunch. It's crazy how fast our blood sugar can drop and how exhausted we get with the heat, but after our break we were rejuvenated!!
We got to the bottom and there was trail magic! Tarzan was there with a big shade shelter, fresh veggies and snacks! It was amazing. Thank you Tarzan!
After the trail magic we made the push across the desert to Ziggy and the Bears. Right when we got there we were treated with a big bowl of ice cream, heavennnnn!!!!
P.S. (From Boombox) I tried my Azblaster for the first time. An Azblaster is basically just a plastic squeeze bottle used to clean my butt after pooping. Azblaster is the trail name of a guy who is trying to get TP out of the backcountry. The Azblaster worked great! I thought it might be messy and gross, but it's a very clean and refreshing experience. I am a full blown convert.....no more TP for me!
Soundtrack: string cheese, yeasayer
Food: fresh veggies!!!!!!!
A long hot day at Ziggy and the Bear's house. We slept in the backyard of Ziggy and The Bear's house last night, which is covered in carpet and car ports for shade. There were a lot of hikers strewn about the yard and the sleeping was very comfy. Ziggy put out a breakfast of cereal, juice, and coffee at around 5 am for those who were pushing off to avoid the heat. We slept in with the plan of taking a break for the hotter part of the day and leaving in the evening.
The heat came on quick and by 8 o'clock we were shirtless and sweating. Most of the day was spent chasing shade around the backyard and lazily organizing our pack with all our new food from our resupply box. I was very cranky all day because of my discomfort with the heat and nothing to do. I sometimes felt trapped in that little back yard and that I was slowly being roasted for some giant's meal.
What Ziggy and The Bear provide is a crutial point to get out of the heat, shower, have boxes sent, and catch up with all your hiker friends. They are incredibly sweet people and extremely generous for all that they provide for hikers. There has been talk from them about not being able to do what they do any longer because of an increase in hikers and a decrease in donations. They are seniors with a low, fixed income and they work very hard every day to make us thru-hikers comfy. I hope the community can show some love and give what they can.
We tried to help as much as we could while we were there. Glitter Bug helped Ziggy organize all of the hiker resupply boxes as well as register new hiker arrivals and did laundry and dishes......what a sweetheart she is! I helped clean up the backyard, swept, and helped Matt with a plumbing project. I am so fortunate to be on this adventure with such A hard working, motivated, caring person like Glitter Bug, she's the best! And our new friend Matt is a wonderful, generous person as well, I love my hiker trash friends!
After restlessly waiting in the unbearable heat all day we finally decided to push off around 430 in the afternoon once we finished our yoga practice. Our friend Matt (formerly known as Fish) joined us again as we hit the trail. Glitter Bug lead the way for the first 5 miles and almost killed Matt and I. The name Dynama has been floating around for her because she packs a hell of a lot of power in a cute, small package. Our fresh resupply was sitting heavy on our back and we took the next 4ish miles pretty slow as the sun went down.
Just before we reached camp for the night, Matt's headlamp scanned across two very large cat eyes. There is no telling weather it was a Cougar, but they were big! Glitter Bug got very nervous and we all made a lot of noise to make sure we scared it away. We found a nice sandy beach to set camp up on near Whitewater River. The three of us bonded over melted chocolate and by telling eachother our gratitudes, resentments, amends, and feelings for the day. It was a beautiful night with a sliver of a moon overhead. What a wonderful time to be alive!!!
Weather: 110 F in the shade!!!
Soundtrack: My Morning Jacket
Wildlife: maybe a cougar?! Or at least. Bobcat. Some weird skeletor spider
Discomforts: my left foot is slowly deteriorating! Swollen big toe and my heal bone feels bruised. Glitter Bug' blisters are callusing over nicely and others are forming.
I was happy to wake up this morning... I definitely thought I was going to be a cougar's dinner last night. It was a super beautiful, warm morning down by Whitewater River. We got up a little earlier than normal to beat the heat and everyone else was already gone! People are getting up at 4am to hike and then they nap in the middle of the day. I can't get into the napping in the middle of the day thing, I'd much rather sleep until 530 and take little breaks through out the day as the heat doesn't bother me too much.
We took our first break after 6.5 miles and made a nice breakfast under a tree and I spilled my entire cup of coffee... It definitely was a sign for how the day was going to go.
It wasn't too hot or anything but my goodness, I didn't have any energy for hiking. We were alll so sluggish and could barely keep hiking. We took a long lunch break under a tree and that really made things worse.
After a brutal push for the last 6 miles we finally got to a stream and a camp spot. There's a bush called poodle dog that can give you an awful, ichy rash and today was the first day we saw it, and we saw it everywhere for a few miles. As soon as we got to camp we washed up (frantically because we were afraid we touched poodle bush), got in warm clothes and took some celebratory sips of our Eastside Distilling whiskey.
I'm reallllllllly missing my Portland friends right now as it's getting warmer there and everyone is doing cool things... I am so lucky to have such great people in my life but I sure do get sad when I miss them so much!
Food: oh my goshhh such a yummy dinner... Cous cous, sunflower seeds, raisins, brown sugar, soy sauce.
Soundtrack: phish, shins, vibesquad
Discomforts: Seth's left foot needs to be amputated.
Hiking buddy: Matt/fish
We woke up and everyone had already packed up and left to "beat the heat". Turns out it was a beautiful day with low temps and tons of sun! The hike was beautiful and easy as we coasted on good tunes and high vibes. The weather we have been hearing about started rolling in in the late afternoon with some cloud coverage and higher winds.
We came upon our friend Ben taking a break in the afternoon and he casually asked us if we saw the lions and tigers and bears a little ways back. We laughed and shrugged it off as a poorly played joke. He then insisted that we walk a few hundred yards back and check it out. Willing to play the fool, we went back and were shocked to see two lions, a jaguar, and a bear in cages!!! It seemed very random to see such exotic animals in the middle of nowhere with no one watching over them. We learned later that the animals are owned by a couple production companies and they star in movies. Quite sad to see the neglect and tiny cages they live in, we had thoughts of setting them free!
We walked a little over 20 miles to a small campsite by the creek and an older hiker that we had been playing tag with all day had snagged the camp before we got there! Go-Go Gadget (aka Matt aka Fish) ran ahead and scouted out a beautiful camp on a point overlooking the expansive valley below. The views on this trail never disappoint! It seems as though we are walking in the clouds and keeping the earth in its rotation with our effortless steps. We set our tents up in precaution to the weather warnings and fell asleep after another wonderful meal with wonderful people. Next is Big Bear!!! FREEDOM!
Food: beefy Mac
Soundtrack: phish, on the go playlist
Discomforts: MY FOOT! Left heal and big toe.
Super fast paced morning to get to Big Bear for breakfast! We did about 7 miles in a little under 2 hours and it was worth it. We got a ride to Big Bear City and had a HUGE breakfast at Thelma's... Delicious.
After getting a ride to a hostel and accessing the situation there, we decided to get a cabin and all chip in for that instead. So worth it! Once we got settled, it started snowing!!! Thank goodness we were in the cabin.
We settled in the cabin and were surprised with a visit by our great friend Bryan!! It's been too long since we have celebrated with that amazing man! We endulged in Mexican food and got beers at the local brewery before getting into various shenanigans on our way home ( dance parties, hot tubs, etc).
Big Bear Lake is a great town that is super friendly to hikers. Once again, we are surprised with the amount of PCT supporters!!!
Weather: cold, windy, SNOW
Soundtrack: probably phish (can't rember)
Food: pancakes, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, Mexican food, ice cream brownie....... We need calories, right??
Miles: Big Bear Lake
We slept in until 7 am and had a wonderful leisurely morning getting ready to "slack-pack" the ten miles from Van Dussen to highway 18. Slack-packing to some might be cheating, but we are writing our own rules and it just sounded really convenient. To slack-pack is to hike a section without your pack, but to be fair, we actually ran the majority of the miles and damn did it feel good.
My spirit brother and freedom fighter, Bryan, gave us a ride to and from the trail heads and even handed us beer at the end as a part of the shuttle service! The whole day was a big slice of FREEDOM! We wanted a longer break in town, but we still wanted to cover some miles and stretch our legs a bit. Then, once we got back to the cabin all our friends that fell behind us for the last week showed up and we rejoiced! Bryan was itching to get back to the slopes and his double
-wide free flyin lifestyle in Mammoth so he took off in the afternoon. Glitter Bug, Gadget, and I made a yummy stir fry for anyone that was interested in eating.
After dinner there were games, drinking, sharing, caring, smiling, cuddling, new friendships, frisbee on the beach and late night hot tubbin. We stayed up super late, I think we made it to real midnight, which is 3 am in hiker- time. Once we destroyed a quick pint of ice-cream, we all drifted off into a wonderful sleep with peace in our minds and joy in our hearts. It feels good to be back with a large group of amazing people. We love our PCT FAMILY!
P.S. We reunited with our BFFs, Lost.N.Found, and Sunshine as well as Camalita, Shuffle, Sideshow, That Guy, The Bird, Auto, Kodiak, and Papaya. What a wonderful crew... We are TEAM FREEDOM!!
Food: the freshness! Stir-fried veggies with wild rice and sausage. Wilted kale and avocado salad, and pizza!
Soundtrack: downlink, muse, phish
My heal still hurts!!
Epsom salt foot soak
Miles: big bear lake
It's amazing what happens when a group is formed... We changed our schedule and decided to take a zero day so we could hang with the group and launch together tomorrow.
The last two nights we stayed at Big Bear Frontier Lodge but tonight we are staying at the ITH Mountain Adventure Lodge Hostel for only $20 a night with breakfast, dinner, laundry and showers included. It's a super lovely place with a nice kitchen and common room. It's full of hiker trash lounging, packing up food, and catching up on their phones. Feels so good to be back with the main crew.
We tried to take advantage of the actual zero day and not do too much. A few of us walked around town and got food at a yummy Indian place. After a while we all just hung out and waited for dinner to be served.
We've met so many new hikers over the last few days. I love getting to know them and chatting about our lives and what brought us on the trail. We all tend to have a lot in common.
After dinner we brought out games... Cards against humanity and Jenga entertained us for hours.
I'm lllooovvvviiinnnn' this!
Weather: 60s and sunny
Food: Indian food lunch and BBQ chicken dinner
Discomforts: we're feeling goooooood