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City: San Francisco
Begins: May 1, 2011
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Day 14 - A Welcome Letdown
The trouble with Idyllwild is it's not at the top of the mountain. This means, after a hitch, we had to hike straight up for two and a half miles before we even got back to where we left off two days ago. But yes, the Devil's Slide Trail was not as bad as feared. The next two and a half miles were, however.
Still with Rory and Mowgli (hopefully not imposing (they have clearly formed a strong bond) because they are proving to be two of the warmest, entertaining hiking partners I have yet to spend time with), we made our way to the much-hyped Fuller Ridge. Supposedly the equal to anything we might encounter in the Sierras (excepting bears and longer beards of course). And it wasn't. A hard hike yes. But hardly more than a trip to walmart on black Friday wearing an I Love Mullets shirt. Confusing indeed. But there was snow, though not continuous, for a few miles on the north side of the ridge. And we got our first real postholes in. I have a few bruises and a restraightened trekking pole to show for it.
But there were also snowballs!
The views to the valley floor, some 8000 feet down were unequaled. We are very much atop a singular tower in the otherwise flat and urban Riverside County. Thankfully a fog left the eastern sprawl to our imaginations.
After hiking the ridge with Onestep and Trawlercat, we ended up camping just past the ridge trailhead. It was Rory's first time using his new alcohol stove. It was not an altogether successful effort. He did, however, eat his semi-raw, barely salted angelhair like a man. Softwalker, Spicerack, Skywalker, and Andrew joined us later. The winds have not stopped whirling through the trees. It is a sound to make dwarves of men's egos. I'm thankfull for my rock sheltered site. I can only hope the local's dire forecasts for tonight's mountain weather prove unfounded. Tomorrow we descend 8000 feet and cross I10 (where the possibility of getting fresh delivered In n Out burgers may exist!) But Big Bear is menacingly close. And it's South faces, unlike Mt San Jacinto, are snowbound. Yet I don't know at all yet where the trail will go; perhaps never so high as to be an issue? And they have a movie theater! (My new goal is to see Thor)
Pissed I lost my Yogi guide somewhere in town. Can't spend another forty bucks to replace it. :(
Chasing The Horizon
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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