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Country: United States
Begins: Apr 15, 2013
Date: Tue, Apr 23rd, 2013
Start: Warner Springs
End: Paradise Valley Cafe (hitch to Idyllwild)
Entry Visits: 656
Journal Visits: 5,470
Guestbook Views: 436
Guestbook Entrys: 0
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Pacific Crest Trail Map
Idyllwild! There was a forecast of snow on Wednesday (Apr 24) evening, so I didn't want to try and make it into Idyllwild by Friday morning via the mountains, so I hitched it on Wednesday. Ran into a great group of folks at Paradise Valley Cafe that I hitched with, and then ended up sharing a room with for 2 nights. The first night at the Idyllwild Inn, and the second at the Lone Pine Lodge. Both are $ 25/per and have amazing rooms, with wood fireplaces and TV/DVD players. We went out to dinner at the local pizza place on Wednesday night in our hiker finest (Long Johns and a Down Jacket) -- since our laundry was getting done.
I'm zeroing in Idyllwild today, then we have a ride down to Lake Morena in the morning for Kick Off. Then I'll grab a ride back to Paradise Valley Cafe (Mile 151), and start hiking from there. I might go up over San Jacinto on the alternate route, or just stay lower on the trail and conserve energy. Lots of climbing in the next few days!
I sent a package to Ziggy & The Bears (210), so I only have to carry 3-4 days of food. Then another 4 from there until Big Bear Lake (250). The water sources look to be a bit closer, so hopefully I'll get to carry a bit less water too! Over 10 lbs of water really kills the body.
Now that logistics are out of the way, the trail has been an amazing mental experience as well. I've run into some amazing people, and it's only been about 10 days. I've hiked with the same group (Team Horseshoe) until now, and have leap-frogged a few other groups (Team America, Skip & 2Step, Legend, Double Sprainbow & Ollie, Mike & Jill). It feels like I've known these folks for years, and it's been less than 2 weeks. The trail builds an amazing kind of rapport, where you can let your guard down and get to know people well. The removal of "What do you do?" from the common vocabulary of life is a welcome one. It feels like you get farther into the interesting tidbits of life faster. The small talk becomes deeper.
I've heard about a study that says people are more creative in rooms with taller ceilings. Out here it feels like there is no ceiling, and along with that no limit to how one might think about the world. It's neat seeing what creative ways people have of eating, sleeping, walking. All of these things we take for granted in everyday life become all there is, and each person has a different take on it.
Under the stars at night, the mind is free to wonder. There are no deadlines, no bosses, and no force to the way of life. Everyone is here because they want to be, kindred spirits from across the globe. They come together for the most fruitless and senseless act, to walk, yet it means so much at the same time. The act of removing yourself from society ("the other world") is a strong statement, while, also being a very easy one. So much about walking this path feels right, much more than walking down a street ever has.
So it continues, only 10 days in, the great migration along the path of most resistance. As a great man once said, the best adventures answer questions that you didn't even know to ask.
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