I’m currently just chilling out in some lawn furniture in Whitewater, CA nice and fresh from a luke warm shower and I can’t remember ever feeling so good. Ziggy and the Bear are a couple of trail Angels who have been hosting hikers in their yard for years and the set up is really sweet. Right now there’s about 30 of us pounding Little Caesar’s.
The last week of my life has gone quite well. I feel like I’m starting to settle into the hike and it’s beginning to feel real. My sleeping has improved and so has my appetite. With any luck I crash out between 9-10 and unless I get woken up earlier by gale force winds, I try to get up around 4-4:30 then crush a whole bunch of miles and watch the sun come up and stuff. In the afternoons I tend to slow down a little so I can stop and shoot the breeze with everybody or take a little siesta(Spanish for nap). When it comes to eating I’ve become something of a machine. I’ve been eating everything I can and stuffing my face every chance I get. The other night in Idyllwild I even set my own personal pizza eating record(7 slices of real 2-topping pizza, not Monte’s).
This week has come with with some other unexpected challenges and decisions I need to make on how I want to go about this hike. Part of the trail was closed for forest regrowth and the alternate route added about 9 miles, a lot of it a road walk. It was rumored to be a total drag but instead of hitching to the next trailhead I’m glad I walked it, it was actually quite scenic and enjoyable. Another alternate gave hikers the option of climbing San Jacinto Peak (10,834 feet and the J sounds like an H) and although adding a couple miles and quite challenging, especially the descent, it was very worth it. A few other memorable events from this week were Trail Angel Mike’s desert oasis at mile 127, taking my first ‘zero'(thru-hiker jargon for not hiking any trail miles in a day) in beautiful Idyllwild, CA, and surviving some intense winds while camping last night near a ridge on the North Face of San Jacinto. As the pictures show the often changing landscapes of the desert and the mountains has been just a treat for the eyes. I also am learning to use an Instagram account(right now you can search for me as Carmody413 but that will likely change) and have taken on a moniker. At first I thought it was a little hokey to go by a trail name, but that was until somebody gave me a good one. Until next time…
-Endless P. Summer