Sorry for the delay, but the last week has been quite the rollercoaster. Humility and beauty would be Mr. Rogers words of the week. Monday morning we hitched back to the Devil’s Slide Trail, which is a steep, 2.5 mile side trail to rejoin the PCT…on the way to climb to nearly 11k feet to the top of Mt. San Jacinto.
Climbing up the Devil’s Slide afforded some great views:
Having snowed the Saturday before, above 7500 feet snow started to become more and more common. To get to the top of San Jacinto, you take another 3.7 mile side trail at Mile 183.3 and continue the ascent in icy conditions. With full food packs the climb started to seem like a bad idea, but of course we would make the summit…
After coming back down we still had about 2.5 miles to rejoin the PCT as well as climb up and around Fuller Ridge to get to the Desert side of this range. T-Rex and I were shot physically, but we wanted to get down in elevation to make the night a bit warmer, so we hiked until sunset. The next morning, the weather was fair and we saw another great sunrise
We had to head to the desert floor that day, where extremely hot temperatures were waiting. Snow to 100+ temps in half a day is just part of the deal in this type of activity.
After a 5 mile desert floor walk, we arrived at Ziggy & the Bear’s, a local trail angel who helps hikers escape the heat.
We planned to night hike an additional 8 miles that night to complete the climb back out of the desert in the cooler temps. Exhausted, we found a great campsite of the beach of the Whitewater River.
The next morning, all of the climbing and heat got to me in a big way. We were forced to take multiple long breaks as I have had struggles eating and therefore have not gotten enough salt. We finished with another 8 Mile night hike where we gained 4k feet in the dark and ended in freezing temps trova. Tough day.
The next day, we realized the next 26 miles to Big Bear were not an option. We would try for striking distance and arrive in Big Bear Friday morning. Mentally this stretch was tough as I find myself getting competitive with other hikers…until T-Rex reminded me why we are actually here and I was able to relax and accept the slower pace. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much experience you do or do not have, nature can always humble you.
We did a quick ten miles into Big Bear on Friday, town food is all the motivation you need to forget fatigue. Huge thanks to Scott and his family for picking us up, feeding us and driving us about town, it was beyond a huge help. Thanks also to all my friends who camp up and hung out this weekend, it was just the time off we needed to get ready for more Desert hiking ahead. We are now off for 5 days to Wrightwood, CA, which will again require going down into the desert and climbing out of it through Cajon Pass.