PCT Julian to Big Bear

Day 5     0 miles PCT -1.5 actual, stayed in hotel in Julian, CA

Day 6   13.85 miles PCT – 14.58 actual, stayed at a small bivy site

Day 7   18.15 miles PCT – stayed on a flat overlooking a small community

Day 8   18.20 miles PCT- 21.1 actual, stayed at small bivy site

Day 9   18 miles PCT – stayed at a randomhouse

Day 10   8 miles PCT – 25.3 actual, trail closed due to fire reroute stayed outside of Idyllwild, CA

Day 11 12.6 miles PCT – 18.5 actual, did alt route to climb to the top of Jacinto, stayed in a meadow surrounded with boulders

Day 12 19 miles PCT – stayed at Best Western, Big Bear, CA

Day 13  0 miles PCT – 1.7 actual stayed hostel Big Bear, CA

Jeff the hotel owner a polite man with a gray handle bar mustache gave me free breakfast; I got free beer at Carmen’s, a burrito place.

There are a good number of injured hikers in town planning on hitching ahead to keep up with their groups.

Getting into Julian was easy, as soon as I finished packing my stuff a guy picked me up. Leaving town was a different story. Standing in the cold waiting to leave it seemed like it took forever as one vehicle after the other passed by. A woman kept signaling to me to make sure I knew she was trying to pull into the parking lot of the post office and not pick me up. With her old white Subaru with rust around the wheels and a plethora of stickers on the back glass with a dog in the car; she looked like a potential ride but no she just stopped for her mail. Then when she was pulling out she told me that she was not going that way now, but if I was still there when she goes that way, she will pick me up, after she makes some small chat. I took my pack off from the wait, it was getting heavy, next comes my hat maybe. If they can see me smile, they will pick me up. I put on a fake grin. I probably looked like one of the videos of dogs all over YouTube that when they smile it looks like they are mad with rabies; more cars passed. Finally a guy named Jeffery picked me up, the smile must of worked. As I was getting out of the car he said, “can I give you something to help out”? “Absolutely!!” He gave me $20 to help on my trip. I had a slow hike with lots of breaks because there was no way I was going to get to the post office in Warner Springs before it closed and the next day was Sunday, a lot of people were in this situation, so I meet a lot of people that day. The one that sticks out the most is Bear, he is an older gentleman that has backpacked a lot. When asked how far he is going he says, “until I get tired”. I hope I am doing big adventures still when I am his age.

On the way to Warner Springs, after I stopped for some beer and hotdog at some trail magic I got some of my manliness back I lost after the rattle snake. As I walked down the trail two fellow hikers and a family started walking back toward me looking over their shoulders. “Turn around there are cows blocking the trail we have to wait”. “I’ve got this, I grew up on a farm”. To myself I thought they are not snakes. I just walked through them and they moved to the amazement of the non rural folks. A little girl with the family said, “Someone carry me, I am tired and give me food I am hungry”. This is a very smart girl, her and I are on the same page … that’s all I want, too.

I stopped to get water for a 25 mile dry patch. When filling up my water, I heard music and laughing, so I decided to investigate. I walked toward a fire surrounded by hikers as I rounded the corner; I saw a wood fired oven. To the right was a guy in a fishing style hat ripping a bong hit. As he blew the white cloud of smoke out in between coughs he said, “I have a pizza coming up, donations accepted and there is beer over there”. “There are four rules: no shitting in the driveway, no sleeping in the driveway, stay out of the kitchen and don’t point your dick at any girls.” I put money in the donation box grabbed a beer and walked to the fire and had a seat. When I finished my beer and pizza, I went to grab another beer, but the closest ones were gone, so I grabbed another couple slices of pizza and sat back by the fire to hangout, since my feet hurt. Later when setting up my tent at the edge of the driveway not wanting to break any rules, I thought to myself, while clearing the random spent shells from various caliber guns out of the way so I wouldn’t set my tent up on them, I should have asked where I could point my dick, as the sudden urge to piss came over me!

With the fire reroute, there was some route finding necessary and I had to guess how much water to carry because the water report didn’t included the reroute. I was out of water and still had 10 miles to go to get back on the trail. I ran into Rabbit (her trail name) who was having a horrible day. She came with me. Luckily some of the reroute had been on roads and we happened to be in a neighborhood, I stopped at a house and asked for water. They gave us water and a ride to the actual PCT. These awesome people probably saved my life or at least keep me from being extremely miserable. I was going to attempt the 10 miles with no water and not very good beta for the reroute.

It was 100 in the shade when we got to the shuttle at 4 pm. It was the hottest day so far. Skipped the fire closure and stayed at Big Bear.

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