Day 15. 3rd of May. The day of the Magic sofa. Mission Creek Spring to Arrastre Creek and beyond 21.5 mile. Our longest day so far!
My banana porridge today smells like hubbabubba chewing gum and every meal in my cup afterwards too!
We enjoyed Amazing Trail Magic today as we walked along, a dumpster (or bear box?) and sofa. We couldn’t believe it! Sponsored by the hostel in Big Bear Lake. We sat down on the comfy sofa and got high on sugar and caffeine!! New trial Trail name Sugar Rushy!!!
The trail surface was great today. So Foot friendly up to 8700 feet and then down after my sugar intake Cory had to jog to keep up with me as I flew along the trail. Little wings on my approach shoes…wheeeee… Until of course the sugar slump happened. Then he tried to interest me in a Blueberry Poptart (bowke!) and I was off again.
There were More clouds of ladybird hatchlings and we Saw our first bear today. Brown bears, caged. 😦 and they were doing the horrible pacing thing in their cramped Cages).
Words of wisdom, wit or gobble-de-fool. Cory states, “Rattlesnake trumps water” after a rattler alerted us to its presence under a bush beside the trail as Cory stopped for a drink of water! I got told off for listening to my iPod like a teenager. I could barely hear anything above Paul Weller. It was coiled up into itself and about as thick again as my lower arm. Maybe one earbud in and one earbud out from now on? I walk along wondering if the sorting bar would put Cory and I Slitherine or Huffelpuff. We both clearly speak snake but some better than others.
Day 16. 4th of May. May the ‘force’ be with you!
We only have a 5 mile Walk to get to the road for our hitch to Big Bear Lake. We only wait about 5 minutes and Hitchhike!!! We get dropped off at the best place for breakfast in town, I’m advised I don’t need a ‘stack’ of pancakes, I take the waitress advice and order one pancake. Then we get the bill and there’s is Thru-hiker discount 🙂 then another hiker Discount at gas store.
We have our own Levi 501 moment as we strip down to our underwear to the strains of Marvin Gaye, in the Laundromat and put everything we own (except one coat and pair of underpants) into the machine. A bemused elderly Asian couple kept asking Cory for help with their machine. I think they could tell he was more mortified than Heidi the German Hiker at the nudity and wanted to see him squirm 🙂
Next to the hotel…We wait a few minutes at the bus stop and I decide to stick out the thumb
Again. I can hardly wait for my shower. First proper shower in (soap!!! Shampoo! Towels!!) in 16 days. Yeah ha another Hitchhike. I am shocked to discover a caterpillar above my eyes. I have a mono brow. Hehe!! It takes hours to tame(butcher) the poor caterpillar, hair by hair, with the Swiss Army knife tweezers).
Our digs are the Travellodge and the lovely man finds a room Which is ready 4 hours before check In!
May the 4th Force be with you. The tv is great with back to back star wars movies.
For tea, after watching the Taco Bell ad every at ever break the marketing has brain washed us. We catch the Bus to Taco Bell and eat way too much food and feel ill!
I impatiently wait for the bus and it drives right past us. Cory phones up the number on the bus stop and the bus comes back for us!!! Now that wouldn’t happen in Scotland. 🙂 More Star Wars and white sheets. However I Can’t sleep too well as the room is too loud. (Fridge, folks, water in pipes, cars, Cory’s). I’ll be using earplugs as usual tomorrow.
Day 17. Cinco de Mayo! The day of our First zero. A wee breakfast at the Travellodge and another shower and bath. They’ve removed the bath plug but a pair of underpants plugs the hole just fine. Hehe. We Shop at Vons and love it buying everything up with our new discount card and then, too late, we discover Dollar tree too! Next time. We Buy too much food. Once again our eyes are bigger than our fat bellies. Cory can’t say no to a . $5 giant sub sandwich (60 cm long, 15 cm Wide, 15 cm
Deep. Basically for a family of 6) and a chicken and salad. We decadently Spend the rest of the day watching back to back Law and Order shows and eating!.
We hear from Brandon (fellow thru hiker) that papa smurfs house (trail angel in Big Bear Lake) that folk have Noro Virus! Apparently around the 200 to 300 mile mark people start to get sick as hygiene standards slip ( the dangers of popping in the woods)!
Words of wisdom, wit or gobble-de-gook. “Cory don’t even think of waking me up, until I’m awake!”
Day 18. 6th may. Bus out of Big Bear Lake. We hitchhiked to the trail with some lovely folks on a day hike. The Weather forecast bad, snow late in the afternoon. How
Far can we get before the weather changes? We Walk in warmth. By three weather has turned cold and misty. We have already put more
Clothes on and quite abruptly it takes a turn for the worst and we decide to stop and Put up our tent,quickly!
We Listen to Cory’s audio book until tea time. It’s fantastic. A huge bag of Salad, with a balsamic dressing like treacle, Chicken which we picked off our rotisserie and Cream cheese bagel. Not exactly a warning tea. But it’s heavenly. We snuggle in and wait for the worst to happen.
14 miles from Big Bear Lake to somewhere in the woods under an Ente hiding from the rain.
It Snowed over night. Cory kept waking up every hour or so and knocked snow of tent. During our middle of the night, we had the usual call of nature, well
Cory did, I held it in all night, I just couldn’t face getting cold for my pee. Cory is excited to report 2 inches of snow.
Day 19. 7th May. The day of footsteps in the snow and two peas in a pod.
We Woke up 6:30, snug in our joined up sleeping bags. At 7:30 Cory woke me up again saying ‘we have a weather window of 4 hours. It would be Good to get out of the high mountains and below 5000 feet.” My ‘stay in bed all
Day’ promise evaporates.
I try to have my morning poop. Turns out when confronted with 2 inches of snow my bottom is ‘s**t scared’ and I wonder is this where the phrase ‘freezing your ass off’ comes from as I ‘do my best’ but manage nothing!!
The trail was reasonably easy to follow. There were Lots of mysterious animal footprints in the snow, even potential deer tracks, our first mammals bigger than squirrels and rabbits! Other than hairy hikers 🙂
We see a Beaver dam down low in a canyon. It is cold Getting off the mountain. I am lucky enough to have my gloves. Cory’s hands are blocks of ice.
We Have breakfast at Little Bear Spring Trail Camp just as it started to snow 2.5 hrs after leaving mountain. There was a handy horse rail just the right height for our sodden tent to drip dry a little.
Two jackets on. One Jacket on. Snowing. Not snowing. Every time we stopped for a snack it snowed!! So cold. So wet. We Needed to get to Deep Creek bridge or lower, then hopefully it would be a little warmer!
I saw Hummingbirds in the snow. The poor we things. Cactus
Flowering in the snow! Do hummingbirds migrate? (It turns out they do!) What do lizards and ants do when it’s snowing?
We finally Got to camp about 4pm. Of course it started to snow as we put up our tent. I couldn’t wait to crawl in and get warm. Potatoes and corned beef for tea tonight. Well smash! I was Asleep by 6:15.
Little smuggler came to our tent and stole our cookies. Cory threw it a cookie to keep it off us. It was a snorting noise. I pictured a wild boar in my head, or maybe a raccoon. I finally settled on Piglet! When we awoke the sacrificed cookie was gone and our ziplock cookie bag and a hole nibbled in it and bites out of a few other cookies! Cookie thief!
It was Lovely camp site under bridge but too cold to appreciate it.
18 mile day.
Day 20. 8th may. 20 mile day. The day of dragons, damsels and hot springs.
Our Tent was covered with frost this morning and once again we had freezing fingers packing up and for over an hour of our walk.
Jack frosts fingers are everywhere but we do have blue skies. We start with lots of clothes as we are freezing and slowly start peeling off the layers. Our Hands freezing The very last to get warm!
Slowly we thaw And the Sun comes out.
We finally arrive at the Hot springs. Yesterday when I was freezing I was dreaming of being submerged in a very hot bath. Their are a
Few hot springs and apparently the tradition is to get in nude! We are filthy and nude regardless just isn’t going to happen. So it’s my one bra and knickers! It’s gorgeous. Hot (almost too hot) bath water.
We enjoy the water for about half an hour with some other hikers then other hikers arrive. The ‘pot’ pipe comes out and talk of dropping LSD and being wasted , so we Move out when stoners moved in.
Dragonflies flittered over us today in the hot springs and it was damsel flies who played hopscotch with us along the path!
There are more sad Burn areas to cross and it gets very Hot in the afternoon. We reach Seasonal Grass Valley Creek and despite having a good soak we need another Flannel bath to remove a bit of our stink and eternal BO and sweat.
Wisdom, wit or gobble-de-gook. “Who here are thru hikers”
“Has anyone seem Thumper?”
Day 21. 9th May. Tuesday.
24 miles to Mcdonald’s!!
We Hadn’t planned to go all the way but wedid!
Another hot day start. We Dunked our t-shirts in the river to cool us down but they dried within minutes. Our T-shirts are honking as are we!
At top of the desert peaks the winds nearly blew me of little skinny paths on ridges. I have a bit of a freak out. My Tilley hat isn’t tied on right enough! It’s a life saver in the sun, I can’t afford to lose it but I also can’t afford to be blown off the ridge. I have a little freak out and Cory helps me secure everything and keep moving. It’s Not pleasant.
With 4 miles to go we decide we will keep on to McDonalds, it’s started to rain and it’s cold and decent food will do wonders for our morale! When we enter McD’s we get a wee cheer from the hikers. There are about 20 Thru Hikers trying to empty them of all food. I visit the bathroom first of all and wash my hands, arms and face. The water is filthy brown! Best down the plug hole than ingested. The food is great. My favourite is the strawberry milkshake. 600 calories but since I’ve walked 24 miles that’s 2400 Calories alone. Hehe
We planned to pitch the tent near the trail. The trail goes under the busy highway and under and over the train track. Cory is an angel and goes outside and phones the Best Western. We don’t rough it but walk an extra mile to the luxury of a shower, bed and breakfast. Heavenly. He has no chance of getting me hiking by the traditional first light of 6am. 🙂