Day 14

 

30th April

Woke at 5.30 one of the best sleeps yet and was packed up and on the trail by 6.30 getting better Mr Snail. The trail was still going down but it was steady. About an hr later I passed the 200 mile post whoop whoop next plan WATER I’m running low and it’s about 6 miles away.This is when the trail has this annoying habit of meandering with no purpose or so it seems.we are going down we are going up zig zag I just want water,then in the distance down below I can see hikers and hopefully water. 10 more minutes and I’m standing by the tap filling up with water. I then rest for twenty minutes before its time to walk. I start off down a tarmac road then I am back on the trail.its cross country very sandy and sometimes you sink in. After about an hour I come to a bridge and whoop. Trail magic I grab a coke and a banana and rest again in the shade of the bridge. Then time to go , A little further up the trail is Ziggy & the Bears. Great trail angel hosts.showers, laundry. Snacks & sodas. As soon as i walked in I was made to take off my pack and my boots . sign the register have my photo taken. Next a bowl of hot water arrived with Epson salts to soak my feet.I had power to charge my phone and a soft seat to sit in.Several cans of soda and a gatorade later it was time to walk.I left the comfort of the chair and walked almost 2 hrs before putting up my tent. My day is done and it’s been good I’m camped in the valley of a huge wind farm I mean huge !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 13

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It was a blowy night, luckily I brought all my kit inside my tent. I emerged about 7 and packed up. Ark Angel walked by he said that I did well as yesterday’s trail was 2 miles straight up… No wonder I struggled, I am also 11,000 feet so that’s why I couldn’t breathe yesterday. So that made me feel better. But still more to climb as I’m going over the mountain fullers Ridge. As I set off it was like being in Narnia with the snow and the trees .I keep expecting Mr Tumnus the fawn to pop out and offer me Tea, which would be very nice. Wow the views are amazing really amazing. I stop by a stream and refill my water. I’m just amazed at the scenery I am seeing…after several hours it lunch time I have been carrying an avocado and an onion so that’s my lunch between my tortillas yummy. It’s a lovely day but the wind is fierce. Time to go down, which is scary as it’s snowy and slippy.
In the distance is civilization and a huge wind farm. Down and down I go the last stretch what a pain the trail is overgrown with thorny bushes which rip at you . There are also blue flowered shrubs which smell beautifully bur still gash you
I need water,it is 5pm I can push on get to the magic 200 or call it a night. I’m low on water so cold supper but a hot chocolate. Should I of pressed on?

 

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Large Tree

Large Tree

Fantastic  View

Fantastic View

Day 11 zero in Idyllwild

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State Park

Wow a much better sleep emerged about 8am my fellow hikers were just leaving, heading off to re-join the trail. The bone in my toe is giving me issues. Seems as if my boot as shrunk.so plenty of painkillers .I waddle into town. Buy a new knife mine was rubbish. And id so loved the one that I had found but had to give it back to DC it was a Gerber and so Sharp then resupply. New flip-flops as I had thrown my others away (rash decision). Arrrrrr. Then gas. Postcards for family. Next it’s laundry time clothes in and  relax as the machines do there  best to get a week’s trail out of them , then it’s back to camp I hang  my clothes out to dry ,  then it’s time for a a shower my second whoop, Mm I washed my hair twice had a shave I was going to relax  but……
Lesson of the day after doing your laundry count your socks before getting back to camp !!.
so after my shower I limp back to the launderette to look for the missing sock and  yes its still in the machine !!
Lets try the relax again  so I sit outside the shower block charging my camera and phone. And chilling  just ate two oranges I seem to have a craving for them . Decanted. my shopping from their boxes ,restocked my first aid kit mainly plasters and moleskin.
Later I needed to get some bleach tablets (for water just in case )  So I walked back up town got the tabs and some gloves and a selection of 4 beers to have with my supper oh and a canister of gas .
Ideho mash it’s really rather good..as I’m eating hikers began to arrive some familiar faces and new ones, there is  Big red, Mika a lady from Germany and…..We sit and talk for hours before I need my  bed

 

 

 

 

 

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Fellow Hikers

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Day 10 A CRAP DAY!!

I knew choosing that spot lat night was a mistake.  As soon as I lied down the wind started.I had double staked the tent and fastened extra lines with rocks. .. The wind blew then the rain came I don’t think I slept at all and was surprised to see a tent over my head in the morning.Thanks Vaude for making it strong. As soon as it was light 4.30 I knew I just had to get off of that mountain. So at 5 am in the rain I broke camp. I was freezing and wet my hands were frozen no gloves as I had dumped my gloves earlier when I was losing weight Doh.
I threw my pack together and trudged on my feet feeling like ton weights. It’s was so cold I had three layers on plus my woolly hat but I was still cold and miserable.
It’s was rainy misty rainy cold!!! I trudged on .A fellow hiker caught me but after no sleep I had no speed and soon he was a spot in the distance. I think a total of three hikers past by me
I was feeling miserable and  didn’t want to be on the trail in fact as soon as I saw a note for trail magic I walked off the trail to find it. By a picnic bench were boxes of goodies sodas, chips fruit etc. I drank two sodas and an orange before re-joining the trail feeling slightly happier
Time to climb .on the climb up there was a fair bit of snow omg…mm need to deal with that .But my first stop is the Paradise Café. I have the Paradise cafe on my mind a hot coffee I need a hot coffee
Oh a sign Paradise café this way. I trudged along the building getting bigger as I got nearer, at last I arrived at 1pm, coffee please. It took three more cups before I could at last feel my fingers Then I ordered the best Burger ever yummy washed down with some  YUMMY IPA.
Ah now I’m much happier , I paid my bill walked out of the door and across the road .It was time to hitch into Idywild
I didn’t have to wait long  before I was sat in a warm car heading to town, I was dropped at the garage then walked to the State Campsite $3 a night
I found the  campsite set up surround by many great hikers they soon informed me of the important  places  i.e. shop, laundry post office .Then it was a quick walk back into town where I treated myself to a pizza now going to get into my bag and sleep and enjoy a Zero day.
There was a big storm yesterday and a large dump of snow. So maybe Monday is a good day to climb!!!

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Horny Toad

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Trail Magic

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Fantastic Burger

Idyllwild

Idyllwild

Campsite

State Park

Day 6

I woke on top of a mountain. Wow such Glorious view. I’m a bit slow starting but was out of my tent by 6 .but once packed up and breakfast eaten it was 7.30. CNC who I camped with last night had long gone. My aim this morning was to get to scissors crossing then hopefully start the climb before it got too hot. I arrived at 10 am and was pleased to see CNC were there. I was refilling my water when Eric strolled in he had hitched to another town yesterday to get hold of more fuel as he had managed to leave  his  at Laguna  Store .
I was looking forward to some trail magic here, but I was more than happy with water. So once I was watered up I set off for the big climb. Luckily today there was a nice wind and a bit overcast as normally hikers struggle with this climb due to the heat as the climb would be for most of the day. As the trail winds its way up the mountains the scenery becomes breathtakingly beautiful, cacti in bloom Reds, pinks and yellows. Up and up I go higher and higher after about four hours climbing I stop for lunch and 50 minutes snooze. God the hills just sap my energy and its hot even with the wind.
The next water source is 20 miles as I pass by several people were dry camping (camping not near to water). I felt good so pressed on, but with the trail you never know what’s coming next. … Should have guessed!!!! More and more climbing, then Eric caught me up. I like Eric as he tends to pull me along .Hurrah a sign says 1 mile to go for water , but I’m beginning to fall behind. Now if there is a sign saying water 1 mile then it should be 1 mile, But no !! There is now another sign that says water 1/3 mile and its down hill and i am exhausted. At last i can see the water,there are boxes of water pilled high. I gulp down a few pints then top up my bottles.I’m exhausted and the feet need attention. so i decide to camp nearby. Tents up and another 20 miles done. Whoop whoop
Thanks whoever maintains this water cache
Tomorrow I’m going to take it easy

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Eric (Medway)

Eric (Medway)

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Boots

Boots

 

 

Trail Magic

Trail Magic

 

Day 5 My first 20. Miler

I woke to an empty campsite, I topped up with water and was on the trail by 7. (Still not early enough)  My pack feels so much better so the miles flew by and wow what fantastic scenery I’m actually enjoying the trail today :0) But it’s just so hot, no shade at all but the climbs were not too steep. Oh great a water cache… I was just filling up when Eric appears. We have been swapping miles for the last two days. But he’s fitter than me so was soon in the distance. The trail then came to an energy sapping climb and in the heat unbearable. Once at the top there were several hikers sheltering from the sun, so I joined them and had an hours sleep as the sun was melting!!
Then off again heading for the next water source… I arrived around 6 refilled and then rested in the shade .There were about a dozen other hikers here some resting some cooking then CNC arrived. This was the couple I camped with on day one. It Was good to see them. After they refilled their water they headed off
I thought I could do a few more miles so set off too , but typically the trail was steep and nowhere to put a tent. I was done ,but needed to find a flat spot ,I climbed a few more hills just looking for somewhere to camp Then hurrah a tent ,then I saw CNC’s tent . They invited me over so i so joined them. Wow what great views I quickly made dinner then crashed

 

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Perfect View

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Hikers Resting

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Day 2 Boulder oaks 10 miles

After two low flying helicopters I was fast asleep. I  woke at 7 am  .Pop tarts for breakfast then I’m off. The first part was a two mile climb  I’m heading for Lake Moreno. God it’s hot and steep
I can’t get any speed up lugging my huge pack.. then disaster.!! Is my bladder empty. Did it leak in the night as I didn’t check  it that’s morning Dam dam  am I going to have enough water. ….After the climb I needed a rest  doh!! I had put the bladder in upside  down so I was just sucking air  phew
Several hours later the lake came into view and at last the campsite. Can’t wait to loose all this small change I’ve been lugging.  But couldn’t find  the shop  ; 0 (
So i washed my stinky shirt under a tap had lunch  and  lazed in the sun while my shirt dried, then it was time to walk.
But  god I’m knackered! !! The heat, my pack. after another 5 miles trudge I arrived at Boulder Oaks campsite . …..Water!  The water is  on .This will do me, 10  miles today.
I found a flat spot for my tent, just as I was setting up Ryan past by.
I cooked my supper then zzzzz

Boulder Oaks

Supper

Lake Moreno

Day 1

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The alarm  screamed get up get up get up. IT was early just gone four am and bob wanted to leave at 5 am We loaded all of our kit into the back of Bobs car , Checked one last time  if we had everything , enough water then we strapped ourselves in and the adventure began
It was about an hour to the starting point so no turning back,this was it .
We arrived at about  5.54 just as the morning began to get light. We posed for the obligatorily photos. Then it was time to walk ,At 6 am we set off together Hendrick,Kevin and Myself on this cool morning
The trail began as a meandering walk but it soon began to climb and climb. Lesson 1  have a light pack. Lesson 2 don’t carry too much food. Lesson 3 carry more water.  By mile 7 I was shattered The heat ,my heavy pack, so I took an hours sleep..I was finding  that  every ten minutes I was needing  a rest. Then omg by mile 9 my bladder was empty leaving me with under a litre. I may be in trouble
I had wanted to start the hike with 6 liters. But Bob the trail angel said you will be fine with four!!!.There is a saying on the trail. “Hike your own hike” .so yes another lesson learnt!
I should of taken more water  but then water is heavy  another thing you soon learn. Luckily for me some fellow hikers helped me out. by giving me a bottle of gator aid and a huge swig of water.. I set off slowly keeping an eye on my dwindling water. I’m resting again at mile 12 when two fellow hikers stopped and gave me 1/2 a liter each.. I looked across the valley and the switchbacks that climbed up the other side OMG i said again to myself and then set off down towards Hawsers Creek
I finally made it to hawsers creek at 6 pm. Omg
There was a water cache there thank you god and the great bloke who put it there.so after drinking my fill . I put up my tent and got chatting to CNC a hiking couple.I made hot chocolate and then mac cheese then got into my tent I was asleep just after the 3rd helicopter sweep zzzzz

 

 

 

 

 

Almost time

Woke at 9 am. Today is a rest day
I need to resupply, visit a phone shop and post office to mail supplies and my bounce box
when I awoke there was another Hiker in the Lounge his name was Hendrik was from Germany. Hendrik was waiting for his pack at it was “lost”…… Good start. But the airport promised him it will be here by 7pm …And it was. Phew
but OMG the size of his pack was a ¼ the size of mine mm I’m a little worried!!
We walked to Ralphs, a large supermarket together and brought two weeks of supplies 1 week to carry and 1 week to post to Warner Springs. It was quite easy to go wild inside and so my basket was soon full I compared mine  with Hendriks  just to what he had purchased
Then  home to decant my supplies between my pack and my resupply box. Once all boxed it was time to visit the post office. Boxes to be mailed here, Ice axe to Lone pine phew done.
Next job, Sims card I went with AT&T 2 GB of data $60 a month I thought this was good value at the time!!
When we got back another Hiker had arrived his name was Kevin  who was from Canada, and OMG  his pack was also small,
When we were all relaxed we went out to dinner  to a Mexican restaurant, The meal was  yummy but can’t remember what it was called.
Well as it’s an early start for me so bed Night

 

My Resupply

My Resupply

Ralphs

Ralphs

here we go

Wow what a long day flight . got to La at 2 pm local time.then Immigration oh my god that took an hour then off to terminal 5 for my next flight. ..
God I need a beer my first one was $17  really !!! The second was $8. I’m learning to look at the menu first !
My connecting  flight is 8pm yawn is it. Bed time
I arrived at  San Diego waited for my case to be unloaded  then made my way to the exit.
I found a phone  and  dialed Bob , He advised me  to wait outside and  he  be  there shortly . I was now  excited and  nervous
Bob the local trail Angel picked me up just past nine. I loaded my gear into the back then we went to pick up another lady before being dropped off at Bob’s. Bob then went back to the airport to get another hiker.
Bob had two hikers upstairs already asleep ,I slept in the motor home  with another hiker who was starting his hike in the morning
I was now  geting nervous  but so so excited

Here  I come

Here I come