We survived another windy night, and started day 11! We found out later that it had actually snowed at higher elevations! The day started off with a steep 3 mile hike up the hill to get us started and climbing up towards the slopes of San Jacinto. The wind was really biting into us, but the strength of the sun, when it was out, had us constantly swapping out our jackets.
We only had 12 miles to do, but with our feet in a fair amount of pain, we were constantly walking slowly and stopping. Along the way we also bumped into 2 water caches, the 2nd being a fairly intriguing one. Alongside the standard Water bottles lay a library with a leave one take one policy, some benches, and a hiker box complete with a bucket of instant mash potatoes!
With about 4 miles to go, Kristin found some much needed energy from listening to music, she started powering up the last lone steep climb and i could barely stay on her tail. From there it undulated along until a final gentle incline and sharp descent to the Hwy that connected to Paradise Cafe.
We waited for about 20 mins trying to hitch a ride, and just gave up and hiked/hobbled the last mile to the Cafe. Unfortunately there was no snow this time for Kristin to experience, as Steve had during his 2012 hike. But oh the glorious burgers washed down with a chocolate milkshake and a Dr Pepper, went down really well.
Now unfortunately, the PCT is closed from mile 262 to 279. Kristin and I made the executive decision to rather rest our feet and hitch to Idyllwild than hike the ~10 miles and 6 mile descent off the PCT to get to the Hwy to find a ride up the rest of the way. This meant we could replace our inner soles and do some more blister treatment, and not have to keep hobbling.
We soon checked ourselves in to the Idyllwild Inn and shared a room with some hiking friends. We were very relieved to find that our shared room had a hot tub bath! Kristin and I soon jumped in with some added Epsom Salts to help ease our aching muscles.
Idyllwild is a really pretty quaint little town nestled high up on the side of San Jacinto. We decided to take at least 1 zero to help us recover, and planned to leave this morning. sadly, the weather pulled in and a cold icy rain greeted us in the morning. We decided to instead take another zero and wait it out, we were not eager to spend the day hiking in wet windy freezing conditions! 1 day more can’t hurt us! (except maybe budget wise 🙂 )
Tomorrows weather is looking much better, and i know Kristin is very keen to see the snow that has fallen in the higher elevations.