Day 10: Role Reversal

4/20/17  14.86 miles +2 non PCT miles PCT mile 166.5 

Some crazy things are happening out on the trail that I wouldn’t have predicted. For one, Matt was convinced I would constantly run out of water and steal his. Oddly this is not the case, Matt is by far drinking more water than I am. I’ve some how learned to ration my water or alternatively I’m much better at body temperature regulation i.e I don’t sweat as much therefore I don’t require much. Matt sweats ALOT and is therefore drinking ALOT. Secondly, I thought our hiking pace would be different considering I normally walk quite a bit faster and Matt is usually several paces behind me lost in his own thoughts. Given the fact that my pack is of similar weight my pace has slowed. Since I’ve got time on my hands I’ve determined that I’m carrying 18% of my body weight whereas Matt is only carrying 13%. This has led me to place a few extra shared items in his pack. It’s only fair. Thirdly, Matt has woken up before me the last 3 days, this is unheard of in our normal life. What is going on?!?!?

Last night we camped behind a cafe next the highway 74 and woke around 7am to the sound of dump trucks and men discussing their work day plans in the parking lot. There was also a small amount of frost on the inside of our tent. Once the frost began to melt and drop on our faces we decided to pack up and head to the cafe for breakfast.

Paradise Cafe

At breakfast we formulated our plan for the day. Some were skipping a section of trail due to a mountain fire in July 2013 that extensively damaged the trail and heading straight to Idyllwild, while others would take the detour around the fire closure. We decided to stay on trail and take the long and confusing detour. The trail was only a mile from the cafe but I’m not into extra credit so we tried our hand at hitch hiking again. I made a pretty cool sign on the back of our tyvex ground sheet and headed for the corner. Success!  Only two cars drove past and the third gave 3 of us a ride to the trail. My first hitch of the trip. Hitching is hard and demoralizing. For some odd reason I expect the first car to stop and give me a ride. I’ve somehow forgotten that the world does not revolve around me and people don’t want to be unconvinced or take the risk. 

Maybe sign should say “harmless hiker needs ride”

After our lazy morning we didn’t get on the trail until 10:30am. Luckily, the weather was only in the 70’s with a nice breeze and the occasional shade spot. After a few miles I hear some cursing and reach Matt who is muttering something about socks. Matt left two pairs of socks back at the cafe. Now he only has 1 pair.  For those keeping track he has now left/lost 3 items. 

Socks!!
 

The trail quickly began to climb through the San Bernadino National Forest and would do so for most of the day. We climbed over 3,200 feet while reaching he highest point thus far on the PCT at 7,000 feet. 


The views were nice as we climbed higher and higher with distant views of Palm Springs. I really want to check out Palm Springs but I fear we would not fit in with our heavily stained shirts and noxious odor. 

Palm Springs in the distance

We took an hour long lunch by tunnel spring, which was down a very steep hill, but we needed water and the alternative would have been a 2 mile side trip. We carried extra water as we weren’t sure where the next source was due to the upcoming detour. 

Such a gentlemen
Matt began to lag as we climbed from ridge to ridge and I knew he was getting trail weary when I would say something and I would get a few low responses in the form of a grunt. He said his legs were heavy and he was out of gas. Maybe he shouldn’t have thrown the rest of his summer sausage away.  

When we got to what seemed like the top of our climb I really wanted a snickers bar. Back in Havasu Matt asked me how many we should buy. We settled on 8, 4 each. Matt carried all the snickers bars for some reason. I asked him for one and he replied, “they are all gone.” Really?!!? How could it be I only had one snickers bar. When was he eating them?? I only saw him eat one, I think he has been squirreling them away.  We keep and buy separate food which is good because apparently it’s impossible to share food out here. Lesson learned. When I questioned him about these missing snickers bars, he said, “those were never yours they were mine,” but I bought them!! I settled for a less desirable healthier alternative and kept climbing. 


At times it almost felt like I was walking through a forest in Washington, it was short lived though  due to the recent wildfire. 


Due to the fire closure we had to leave the PCT at mile 166.5 and walk 2 miles straight down the Fobes Trail. 

We saw no other hikers today except Toggs who we hitched with. We expected to camp with her but when we arrived at the campsite (a road) she was no where to be found. I did see her descending from Fobes Canyon at the end of the day but she must have kept going. 

Once we set up camp we decided to dine in as a few mosquitos began to emerge. Tomorrow we have to walk 5 miles to the hwy and either hike or hitch into Idyllwild which is another 10 miles away. 

6 thoughts on “Day 10: Role Reversal

  1. “No officer, I don’t know how she managed to stab me with a snickers… ”

    Time to invest in a ‘therapy avoidance’ snickers cache?

    Keep on pushing guys!

    Like

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