May 15, 2014
Mile 243 – 258
15 miles total
I felt cold and uncomfortable most of the night. At 2am I considered packing up my stuff and hiking because I wasn’t sleeping very well. Instead I snuggle deeper into my sleeping bag. I wake up near 6am and there aren’t any ants crawling on me or my stuff. Success! I’m groggy but excited because I’m getting closer to Big Bear.
I quickly pack up my things and I’m off… again without breakfast because I haven’t learned my lesson yet. The trail is level and the morning is warming up. Feet are in pain as usual.
I pass Dillon and Frasier around 7am as they are packing up their stuff. They found a big enough flat spot for the both of them to camp. We say our morning greetings and I hike on.
Not too long after I pass them I hear them coming up the trail. I can make out their conversation and they are discussing movies! I love movies; maybe I can join in if I can keep up with them. As they get closer I realize that they aren’t really discussing movies so much as talking about how hot Jennifer Lawrence was in The Hunger Games vs. American Hustle. I step off the trail and let the guys pass.
I arrive at mile 246 where there are cabins and a great view. I set down my pack and get some food out of it to eat. I have Spam that I’ve been carrying around for a while because I’m a little reluctant to eat it. I ate it once in middle school at a friends house and I didn’t care for it. I eat it all but there is a clear gelatin that I wipe off. I couldn’t make myself eat the slime.
I sit and stretch for what seems like a 5 minutes but I look at my watch and its been an hour since I dropped my pack. Where does the time go? I need to set the timer from now on so I don’t get sidetracked on my breaks.
I get my ass in gear and hike on. I get to a part of the trail that follows a road and these parts always have me on alert because I don’t want to walk past the PCT trail like I did a few weeks ago.
I hike to mile 250ish and see the animal cages that I’ve heard so much about. I didn’t see any animals but I did take a picture of the cages.
Two day hikers pass me by on the trail and they look so clean. I wish I could look and feel that clean. They smile wide at seeing me and we say hi. They have a tiny little pack that I’m envious of.
I hike on and find a few water caches around mile 152.
I fill up half a liter of my gatorade bottle. I’m sure I can get to the next water source at 156 but the half a liter would make it more comfortable.
I walk further ahead on the trail and see a couch! There is a huge dumpster and a cooler next to it. I have a soda addiction so I walk up to the cooler excitedly and open the lid only to find a banana. I’m a little disappointed but I still get to enjoy the couch. Yay!
This PCT magic is hosted by Big Bear Hostel. Thank you guys! I sat down on the couch, closed my eyes and pretended I was sitting in my living room. After a few minutes in my fantasy land I think that this would be a perfect place to have dinner. Its only 4pm but the couch is so enticing. I start unpacking my stove and food when Gill from Israel shows up. He takes one look at the couch and takes off his pack to sit.
While I make dinner Gill and I talk about the PCT and other trails that we’ve done. I tell him that the Fiesta Sides Spanish Rice is my favorite so the couch and my favorite dinner is a treat. He says “You eat dinner this early?” I tell him that I usually cook later but I thought I would make this a special occasion. He eats the lone banana that is left in the cooler and we sit in a comfortable silence on the comfy couch.
Gill scrams after 1/2 hour and I’m left with a full belly. I sit on the couch for a few minutes when I notice a cigarette butt on the ground in front of me. Ugh! What hiker-smoker-jerk just leaves his butts willy-nilly on the trail. I pick it up and open the dumpster. I throw it in this garbage bag that’s sitting in there and notice that there is food and soda. Lots of soda! and a register. What!? I’ve been sitting here this whole time without knowing this treasure was sitting in the dumpster. I grab a lemon-lime soda and the register book.
Oh, my. It is the most delicious thing I’ve tasted since Spanish Rice.
I open up the register and see all my past friends names and messages. Mr. Cup is 12 days ahead of me! We had almost the same slow pace last time I talked to him. He must not take as many zeros and breaks as this lazy hiker. I’m sad that I won’t see him again. Hope your hike is going well Mr. Cup.
I look for Cody’s name but I’m not finding it anywhere. Is he skipping the registers? I scan the messages and I finally see his horrible handwriting but its under a different name. Awww, he’s got a trail name. I’m not sure if he would want me to put it out there so I’ll leave his trail name a secret for now. He is now a full 7 days ahead of me. At this point I think that we can conclude that he will make it to Canada fine and leave me in the dust.
I wish it were a few hours later then I would throw my sleeping bag on the couch and claim it as mine for the night. I can’t do that. Good hikers would use the daylight and get more miles. Always striving to be a good little hiker, I pick up my backpack and take off.
Thankfully the trail is all downhill from 253 and onward. It feels good to be hiking but I wouldn’t have enjoyed going uphill with a full stomach of rice and soda. I’m feeling pretty happy.
I get to mile 256 which is Arrestre Campground. It is a water source with a lot of camping spots around. I sit on the picnic table trying to decide if I should continue on.
The map says that there is a small campsite at mile 258. I put on my pack and hope that Gill passed on that area to camp or that there is room enough for the two of us. The trail is still downhill and that is super nice.
I get to mile 258 after sunset and since I’m in the middle of dense trees I can’t really see anything. I get my little headlamp out of the backpack and hike on. I laughed a little because I was only 2 minutes from the campsite. I setup my tent in the dark and put all my things inside. My sweaty shirt and shorts have turned so cold that all I want to do is change into my sleepwear and cuddle my sleeping bag.
I forget to brush my teeth. My dentist isn’t going to be happy with me after the trail.