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City: San Diego
Begins: May 1, 2012
Date: Wed, May 9th, 2012
Start: Whitewater Preserve
End: Big Bear lake
Entry Visits: 725
Journal Visits: 8,386
Guestbook Views: 522
Guestbook Entrys: 7
Dreaming of Food
So as it turns out, fuller ridge was not as bad as first thought, snow in the san jacinto's changes on a daily basis however, we could not have known without hiking it. I have already hiked this section last year, and so it is not a big deal for me to jump around it. I think it would be kinda fun to do that piece southbound anyway! Anyhow Stacey, trail angel in idyllwild whom we stayed with drove me, mothergoose and upside down off the mountain and down to another trail angel house-Ziggy and the Bear where we had resupply packages sent. Well, considering it was already so late in the morning and getting hot, we decide to let stacey drive us to the whitewater preserve and bypass a very hot section of trail going up and through the Mesa Wind Farm. Warner Springs Monty and Lake-to-Lake are hosting trail magic at the preserve as well, so it was another lazy afternoon laying around and relaxing in this cool oasis in the desert. I mean, Who knew this place existed? I had heard about it, but certainly did not imagine such a beautiful place to swim, camp and cool off!
The next day brings heavy packs, laden with water and food for the 3 day trip UP to Big bear. The first leg of the journey was not so bad, however when we descended to Mission creek, the ascent was seemingly unending as we climbed nearly 3000 feet over the course of the day. Water was no issue as I had hoped so I was able to lighten my load a little by getting my thirst quenched from the creek as I needed it throughout the day. After hiking for many hours, I arrive at Creekside Camp alongside the North fork Mission Creek. A dusty, dirty yet cool respite from the heat of the afternoon, shaded by a few surviving giant oaks and conifers that survived a fire a few years ago which wiped out most of the trees and vegetation in the mission creek canyon. It strikes me as odd, that a big blue tarp, probably the same one that I remember from last year, is still there. I stretch it out and use it to lay down and relax on. In an couple of hours, Mothergoose and upside down and Atlas arrive into camp. its a little crowded, but we make it work!
Dreams of Food-All night long. First, Chinese, then Mexican, then Burgers and more! I wake up hungry...
The morning brings the rustle of silnylon being stuffed into sacks, tents being dismantled and the gear of the long distance hiker being stuffed into backpacks like sardines in a can. Everything goes in a certain way and everyones method is slightly different-the end result is a tightly packed, well organized mobile home on our backs. Just what we need, and nothing more....well, to some extent anyway.
The morning hike has been planned to do about 15 miles, all of which is climbing up to an elevation of more than 8000 feet through the San Bernardino National forest. We arrive at our first water stop-Mission Spring. After an hour break and lots of food, I depart. We plan on camping just before the Animal Cages-mile 249. I find a great spot in a sandy wash among the giant cedars and fir trees that dominate this landscape. Many other hikers come through making tracks to their own respective campsites for the night as the temperature begins to plumet into the low 30's.
I can't believe it, but I actually slept in! It was just too cold to get out of my quilt and into my clothes. By the time I come out of my tent, Atlas and another hiker who camped with us had long since left. Mothergoose and upsidedown were in the process of packing up. I have gotten to the point once again, where I can pack up my camp and stuff my pack in about 10 minutes, getting out of camp just before mothergoose for a change! I tell her that I am planning to hot foot it into town instead of making a short day of it and waiting until wednesday to go in.
Its 3 and a half miles or so to the "Big Bear Hostel's Magic Cache" at Onyx summit, so I forego morning breakfast in hopes that it will be stocked with goodies to eat and drink. Sure enough, its freshly stocked and I dive right in! Fifteen minutes or so go by and I hoist my pack to head on to Arrastre Trail Camp where I plan to stop for another food break-4 miles or so further up the trail. Again, its a quick 20 minute break and I'm attracted to town like a horse chasing a carrot on a string! There is food in town, Lots and lots of good FOOD!!! Not to mention a comfortable rest at the Hostel in Big Bear Lake!
I walk a little more than Nine Miles Nearly NON STOP to hwy 18 and immediatly across the road I go to begin the process of hitching into town! I position myself so that I am as visible as possible in hopes that someone will be nice enough to offer me a ride. After 6 or 7 cars I'm thinking its gonna be a long wait when suddenly, a trail angel who was spending the day with her Daughter shuttling hikers around drives up to the pass and offers me a ride! Her name is Chirl and her daughter Dakota-an 8 y/o aspiring Thru-hiker who was not shy about asking questions and learning more about the journey which me and a few hundred others are hoping to complete this year!
They offer to take me anywhere I want to go, but I just want a shower, some food and clean clothes so its straight to the hostel I go. After arriving, I get to share some more insight about thru-hiking and gear with Dakota and her mom. Now its time to check in, get my loaner clothes and a shower. The laundry line is long, so I decide to head a block up the street to the "village" of big bear lake and have some of that mexican food I dreamt about two nights earlier! Three enchiladas, rice, beans chips salsa and a Pacifico! Muy Bueno!! Later that afternoon, I learn that mothergoose and upside down have decided to come on into town. The allure of clean clothes and food is too much to ignore! This morning, I am up at 630 AM, as much as I wanted to sleep in I couldn't. Goose and Upside down are also up and we head out to breakfast at the "Grizzly Manor Cafe" Practically a one man operation where the owner is the chief, cook and bottle washer with one helper to keep things flowing. I am amazed to discover that he REMEMBERED ME from eating there ONE TIME LAST YEAR! I couldn't believe it! Anyway, I highly recommend the Grizzly Manor for a Huge Home style breakfast. Possibly the best biscuits and gravy anywhere!...
As you probably have noticed....Food is the big theme in my life these past few days, as I need thousands of Calories to maintain the blistering pace I must keep in order to make it to Canada!
Soup's Big Adventure
The truly simple life exists within the zippers of my backpack,powered by my own legs, burning only natural fuel, leaving no trace I was ever there.
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