Last night I spent a nice amount of time writing a great post for this blog. I took a moment to step away, then returned to see that what I had written had self destructed. Gone. So this time might not be well written or detailed, but I will remember to save as I go. I'm sitting at a picnic table in Idyllwild, eating a large cheese pizza and drinking a chocolate malt. Today I'm taking a zero day. Zero mileage, to let a very sore quadricep recover from steep climbs and descents. Saturday and Sunday were very difficult, and I think it took a bit of a toll on my legs. Saturday started with a climb from around 5000 feet up to 8000. Then lots of steep up and downs ranging from 500 to 800 vertical. The PCT is supposed to be graded for equestrian and stock travel, but I sure would not want to ride on a horse through there.
The San Jacintos are the highest peaks in California south of the Sierras, and the heavy snow year is making for travel at the higher elevations very difficult. Late saturday, after a very cold break for dinner, we hit he first bad snow on the north face of Apache Peak at around 8000 feet. For only about 100 yards the trail was coverd by hard pack icy snow. We were on a very steep slope, at least 50 degrees down to the east. It was only about an hour till dark and it was very windy. And getting cold. We opted to go down the slope below the snow field. After we made it around the snow the going got much easier and safer. We traversed a bit more snow the found a shelterd nook to pitch in as the wind whiped by at at least 30mph.
Yesterday, we hit the worst of it. Much less risk, but lots more snow. We had only eight miles to the spur trail that would take us to town. It took five hours, and it took us two of thoes hours to do the last two miles. There was no dry trail to be seen, so it was mostly map and compas navigation. Aside from my leg hurting terribly with every step, I enjoyed the challange.
I really hope taking today off will be enough rest to make it to Big Bear without muscle pain. Tomorrow Furniture and Charlie and I have a ride back to the trail at 7:00 am. Most the hikers in town will be taking a road walk around this section, or skipping it all together. I think it will be great to see this bit of trail, and I will have good company to go through it with. I Also have a new pack and down pants waiting in Big Bear. Can't wait to be comfy and warm next week.
Pictures are coming soon!