May 18th, 2021
Mile Marker: 172
Miles Hiked Today: 20
Good gravy did we sleep amazingly last night in a hotel bed. The bed was huge and comfy and both of us were passed out before 10 pm. We slept in till 6:30 and got ready for Lorraine (An Idyllwild Trail Angel) to pick us up.
We contacted her the night before and she happily agreed to pick us up and then right before she actually did she asked us if we wanted a coffee since she had time to grab one for us. The generosity from these people! (Idyllwild is known to be nice to hikers!)
We drove for 20 minutes back to the trail and got to know one another and a little bit more about the town of Idyllwild. Supposedly we were lucky we went there on a week day as it is a touristy spot for people from San Diego and LA on the weekends.
Lorraine dropped us off at the start and we said our many thanks before heading on our way.
Planner and I were ready for the day. We had gotten two full town meals (Something I remember Blue Suit had told me to do on the AT) and great sleep. It was go time.
The beginning of the day was through a forest with huge pine cones that were as big as our faces!?!
We flew for a majority of the day but had multiple big climbs that slowed us down. We also were carrying 6 liters of water for the day and night so that we didn’t have to hike a mile off trail for a water resupply. Our packs were heavy, heavy.
I was also becoming extremely anxious and emotional. One of the mountains we had to pass today was over a mountain a guy passed away on last year. He was crossing it with a few others in March when it was snowy and icy and ended up slipping. For most of the day it was all I could think about. Even though I knew that it wasn’t as treacherous since there was no snow, I couldn’t help myself.
As I crossed the area where it happened I said Rest In Peace, and gave my prayers to the family, and tried to keep my mind from going haywire.
It was then that a little birdy landed a few feet in front of me as I walked. Then, for the next couple minutes kept flying a little bit in front of me and landed on the trail like it was telling me to follow it, that everything would be okay.
I took a deep sigh and followed the little birdy and started a mantra in my head.
“We are strong.
We are confident.
We got this.”
For the next two miles till we reached our camp spot this was all that was going through my head. I then gave my thanks to God for keeping me safe.
Planner and I started to discuss our options for the night. The camp area wasn’t the best but it was either there or we continued on 3 more miles up a steep incline and our legs were toast for the day. It was a very difficult day with a lot of elevation gain. Here is a map showing it!
We also, have a scary rock slide area that we have to get past and we both decided that we would do it first thing in the morning instead. It also spooked us out because a hiker passed us to continue on, then came back and said it was scary and the rope didn’t look secure and said “Either way, if the rocks fall and you are on the outside or inside, you are going to die.” Then he went to go try and set up a tent nearby and then came back and said he was going to try it. Indecisiveness at its finest. I had felt bad for him too. As soon as he left, my stomach was in knots.
To make it a little bit worse, our camp spot tonight is pretty much on top of a mountain and our only wind protection is a huge boulder. Planner and I both had the irrational fear that we are going to roll down the mountain in our sleep but our camp spot is flat. We both thought about Woodpile and his ever so calming presence and confidence and “Woodpile Wisdom” where he probably would have laughed and said “Yall ain’t going to roll down the mountain! You should cowboy camp!” since that is what he does a lot of with ease.
Planner decided she would try it again and I, am too chicken and set up my tent instead.
If the wind dies down, it will be an incredible night. So fingers crossed. It was however, a gorgeous sunset view.
Iz and Oz