Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 22 Sat May 10th

Slept great, but lots of condensation, our sleeping bags were quite wet in the morning. We aired them out for an hour and got on the trail around 7am. Only 13.6 miles to Vanilla milkshake land! The miles came easy again and we were to McDonald's before noon! Today, Neighbor nearly stepped on this little snake, then realized it was a baby rattler! He tried to pick it up with his trekking pole and it started to rattle like mad, but being a baby, it sounded just sooo cute, like a little bee! Back at McD's, the Chief, Neighbor and I all got chicken salads, and ice cream sundae's and I got my shake! Neighbor got his iced coffee, it was a good time. Nimblewill came in and it was a grand ole time. Then we decided to take the rest of the afternoon off (as it was the hottest part of the day) and stay at the Best Western just up the street. We are splitting a room with the Chief and Detour. Tons of other hikers here, it's the place to be! We now have clean laundry and clean bodies! Just ate a footlong sub from subway for dinner and we'll head back out on the trail in the morning (after we put a hurting on the included continental breakfast!!) We'll be in Wrightwood in 2 days. And we checked, the San Jacinto 39 mile missed section is STILL CLOSED! Ahhhhhh. We are starting to think we'll have to fly back from Canada to finish the trail in Idlywild! Seeing tons of poison oak lately. I have an eagle eye for it now!

Day 21 Fri May 9th

Up and ready to go early......but maybe we'll just put our feet in the hot springs before we go....then that turned into, let's just get in for a few hour later, ahhhh, okay, time to hike now! 8am and heading north. Walked over a beautiful bridge over a massive gorge on our way, then down to the Mojave river dam and lost the trail for a minute in the bushes, but quickly back on track. We crossed the river on a log, Neighbor held my trekking pole while I crossed for balance, sometimes I'm not that graceful on balance beams over deep flowing rivers! Walked a few more miles and came to a van where we found Marlene handing out rootbeer floats! Trail Magic! yeah! Reminded me of my great grandmother, she always made those floats! And it powered us right up the hill! We'll have to have more of those on the trail, thanks Marlene! Also saw Gordon who is driving Nimblewill Nomad's support van. Hiked a few more miles and saw Gordon again, he gave us gatorades this time and then Nimblewill came walking up the road and we got to meet him (he's sorta famous in the hiking world, he'll turn 70 this year and he's hiking the PCT) He's very nice and wow, in shape! We hiked a few more miles, not really planning on making it all the way to Silverwood Lake, but we did....another 22 mile day. The campground was full, so we kept walking and then Chief Chi hua hua found us a pavillion with picnic tables just off trail to camp for the night! We made some Velvetta mac and cheese (thanks Priscilla) and called it a night! Oh, tomorrow there is a McDonald's just off the trail somewhere and that is all everyone is talking about! I'm thinking Vanilla milkshake!

Day 20 Thurs May 8th

Great day! Started hiking by 0630 and heard this bird that sounded like a big crow, I looked around and saw a blue heron coming in for a landing in the creek, I never knew they made noise! Walked for a few miles and crossed the small creek, stopped, aired out our feet and washed our socks, clean feet are hard to come by out here. Saw a hummingbird by the creek and heard it make noise too! Decided to aim for the natural hot springs some 21 miles away today.....lots of walking. Crossed the creek a couple times, it keeps getting bigger each time we cross it and I took my shoes off twice for the crossing (others didn't...I'm a chicken) :) Finally made it to the hot springs at 4:50, what a day. We get there and set our packs down and notice that some of the regulars feel it is a clothing optional kinda place. Neighbor says hi to one man and he doesn't respond.....then the man reaches down into the bushes and grabs this rattlesnake by the tail! Ahhhhh, we never even saw the thing! It starts rattling like MAD! Someone yells, take a picture.......but the man is completely naked (and very old) and I think, that would not be a very good picture for the scrapbook! Anyways, that's the story of our very first rattlesnake encounter on the trail! ha ha ha! So, we get into our hot springs gear (yes, we wore clothes!) and oh my.......wonderful! We soaked for over an hour and our skin was prune-like once we got out, but it felt so great, many were going from the hot to the cold, but I stuck mostly with the hot! What a great ending to a long day!

Day 19 Wed May 7th

We were up early and mailed out some postcards, bagel, cream cheese and avacado for breakfast and back on the trail for 9am! The miles came easy today. Walked through a burn area from 2 yrs ago and the scenery was beautiful. All the trees were black, but small flowers were starting to grow again, it was beautiful to see the regrowth and what comes first. The purple lupine and small yellow flowers and patches of grass here and there. Hiked 19 miles in 8 hours and camped with Supa, Vizor, Pipi, Outback, Gazelle and Chief Chi hua hua. Ate a freezerbagcooking meal of 4 cheese rice and turkey burger and it was awesome! The ground where everything is burnt is very soft (if you do any off trail business) and you feel like you might sink right through. Some of the burnt trees were burnt right down to the ground, created a HUGE hole and then burnt out the roots even!