Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 15 Sat May 3

Up and hiking by 6am and it was already 68 degrees. Yuck. Beautiful section of trail through San Gorgonio Wilderness and by 0830 we were at Whitewater creek where we found a note in the trail for "trail magic" (nice deed done by other people, usually means food that we can eat and didn't have to carry!!) So, we hiked 1/2 mile off the trail and met Brian and Lisa who were serving up pancakes and eggs! Yummmm! We hung out for a couple hours and then had burgers, soda, chips, mangos and were on our way with full bellies! After a few more miles, we were in the heat of the day and came to Mission creek (an actual creek!!) Neighbor was SO excited, he stripped down to his underwear and jumped in face down and started making whale noises! I think the other 4 people who didn't know us at the creek were a bit in awe! But that water felt great! Hiked another 4 miles and called it quits for the day, camped with Asaf (who was Hungry hiker on the AT in 2003, but we started calling him Chief Chi-hua-hua) The Chief name comes from him trying to pronounce chiuahua (the little dog) but he's from Isreal and it came out all mumbled like chi-hua-hua (hence the name) :)

interesting stuff

Everyone keeps asking what we are seeing for wildlife.
Answer: NOTHING!

We "think" we've seen 1 rattlesnake, but it was a baby and didn't even have a rattle. ALL the hikers around us have seen multiple rattlers.......not us!

We've seen tracks of various animals, but haven't seen any actual creatures.
In all seriousness, we sleep with our foodbags (I use mine as my pillow) I thought that was scary when I first heard of it, but everyone else does it and lives!

We LOVE the sage bushes. The smell is amazing (I guess any smell is great after smelling your own B.O. for miles and miles) but brushing up against one of these sage bushes is wonderful!

Ants...everywhere, red, black, brown, etc. everywhere.

Day 14 Fri May 2

Beautiful sunrise, cresent moon, Mt. San Jacinto right there! Just after 6am we started the 13 mile downhill hike to I-10. 7000 foot elevation loss....ouch! 17 miles later around 2pm, we are under the I-10 bridge with Papabear, cold soda, brownies, bananas, chips and something that I wouldn't touch at home....a McDonald's double cheeseburger! (and it was GOOD) :) The last 3 miles to the bridge were awful. DEEP beach sand and basically no trail, just follow the washout to the highway, it was brutally hot and just NOT fun. At the bridge, in the shade, Neighbor put his watch in the sun and it read 124 degrees! Ahhhh! We continued on for another 4 miles to camp below a windfarm (wind turbines) for a total of 21 miles for the day. The turbines make a very soothing sound......almost like thousands of Canadian geese flying south. :)

Day 13 Thurs. May 1

Good night sleep at the campground, we all went out for pizza last night! Yumm! After breakfast, we mailed home our crampons (that we were going to use for San Jacinto/Fuller Ridge section) and then found out that the fire is still out of control and the trail will not re-open until after monday. So, we called a local trail angel and got a ride to Black Mtn. trailhead where we hiked 8 miles UPHILL just to get to the PCT! It was very uphill, but beautiful. We got to the trail, hiked for 1 hour and put up camp at about 7000 feet with a great view of San Jacinto. Back on the trail! 39 miles of trail not covered, but we'll get back to it..........definately! Camped with Asaf and Dogwood.