(Day 8 Mile 109.5-134.7, Day 9 Mile 134.7-151.7, Day 10 Zero)
The featured image above sums up the change in weather for days 8-9. After leaving Warner Springs We ascended back I to the mountains and spent it in a soupy mess for most of Day 8…loving every minute of it. At ~mile 127 we stopped by Trail Angel Mike’s house for water and a brief respite from the cold, misty weather. Thank you to Mike and all Trail Angels for what they do to help us hikers. Before arriving there however, we had the pleasure of witnessing T-Rex’s famous leaping skills: (will be added when I have a pc..having formatting issues)
We decended down the mountain, the weather broke and we had a nice evening
The next day we headed back into the mountains again and similar weather and wind awaited us. We were on a mission to reach the Paradise Valley Cafe, famous for hikers as its only a mile down a highway where the trail crosses in the middle of nowhere. As we approached the highway, driving rain began and the temps fell along with the precipitation. A man in a truck pulled over and moments later T-Rex, Huck and I were laying down in a truck bed being wisked off to warm food and shelter a mile down the road. Outside things continued to deteriorate and when someone next to us offered a ride to our next stop Idyllwild, we gladly accepted. (Full disclosure…this next section of the trail is largely closed as there was a huge fire in 2013, destroying the trail. The detour is essentially a road walk to Idyllwild, which we traversed in a car. This will cause us to miss a few miles on the PCT, but mostly just road…we rejoin the PCT at mile 178.)
We had met another new friend at the diner, Cool Breeze, and the four of us together failed in finding accommodations as there were two conferences in town and hikers decending from the mountains looking for shelter. Miraculously, a wonderful woman named Gina, made some calls and along with another hiker, got us an amazing 3BR, 3 Bath house down the road..free for the night. The trail provides! We couldn’t have been happier, conditions on the trail were at freezing, with heavy rain and 45 MPH gusts of wind. As we had already reserved a room for Sunday night and are ahead of schedule, we decided that night we’d stay in this beautiful resort town an additional day and wait on packages available Monday morning.
We had an excellent day off enjoying the shops and beauty (and maybe a bar or two) of Idyllwild and are ready to continue on. Today, we will summit Mt. San Jacinto (Elev. 10,834ft), cross Fuller Ridge and head back down into the desert, where the heat is waiting. This long stretch will lead to Big Bear City by the weekend, stay tuned!