I have yet to find something that makes me as happy as life on the PCT. Everyday is a new adventure, the weather is amazing and honestly I’ve never met such amazing people.
When we last left off on our adventure we were at Mikes house with Tom and Kushy. What a great time we had there, Kushy does a fantastic job care-taking the place and really makes time spent there worth the time off the trail.
As usual we were the last ones to leave in the morning. But when we did, we headed out for a beautiful day of easy hiking. It’s only 25 miles from mikes to highway 74 which is where every thru hiker we’ve met is getting off and hitching the 18 miles up to Idyllwild because of a closure on the trail. We decided to take it easy and just do 12 miles to a big sandy campground at mile 138.7. This was a huge area! It says in Guthook’s App that it can fit 6 tents, you could EASILY fit 20. Finding one that isn’t completely covered in small poop pellets would be the challenge. We walked to the back of the open area and found that there weren’t as many dingle berries scattered about there so we put up our Yama Mountain Gear Tent and set up camp. It wasn’t until we started walking around that we realized why the excrement stopped a few feet back – goats head prickers. What AWFUL little things they are! They stick into and onto everything. A week later and I’m still getting stuck by them, discovering them in places I never thought they would get to in my pack. Thank goodness we exchanged our inflatable pads for z lites; one goat head to the bottom of an inflatable and it’s over. Other than the prickers everywhere it was a fantastic night and Easter morning.
On Easter we did a 13 mile Easter egg hunt with Buddy. I got this amazing idea from an awesome girl we met on the AT at thru hiker Thanksgiving. We met the Geiger family (which is awesome because that’s Buddy’s last name too!) in Hot Springs and their oldest daughter (I’m so sorry I’ve forgotten her name) told us about how they do Easter on the trail and it’s one of her favorite holiday memories. I vowed to remember that for Buddy and do it if we were on the PCT this year. We stopped at the Hikers Oasis Water Cache for a mid-morning rest and Dion his some eggs there for Buddy too, he loved it!
We hiked 13 miles on Easter to the road crossing at Highway 74, we arrived there at 4:30 and hitched into Idyllwild too. I wanted to be in town that night not just because it was Easter but also we needed to resupply and take showers.
The trail is closed from mile 163.3 to mile 179.4. We’ve been told by every person we’ve asked that it’s not safe in that area and also punishable by a fine of up to $5k if we go in, so we will be skipping that section of the trail that is closed. Instead we will go back and hike from highway 74 to mile 163 and take a 6 mile side trail to get back to the road, then road walk back up to Idyllwild. In case you didn’t know, yes we are that crazy. Purist? Sure, if you want to call it that. A thru hike is walking from Mexico to Canada, not hitching around the parts you can’t or don’t want to do. Not everyone feels that way and that is fine, but that’s how we roll.
We had the best time at Silver Pines Lodge in Idyllwild. Dion grilled hamburgers and we drank a local brew IPA that was too good to be true. We’ve heard this is one of the best towns on the trail and that was no lie! We went shopping, hung out at the library and checked out the town. We caught a ride from the manager of the gear shop, www.nomadventures.com, up to Ziggy and the Bears house where we were picked up by our trail angel/thru hiker friend Sandizzle. She’s going to scoop us so we can prep for KO and head down there this weekend. While at Ziggy and the Bears we saw a bunch of people we haven’t seen in a few days including Uke and our new friend Nate aka Jolly and caught up on how the trail is treating them. Buddy loved the Bear and his huge bowls of ice cream! He also got such a kick out of his first cowboy camping experience. In the backyard of Ziggy and The Bears house is a carpeted patio that hikers sleep on at night. They have been trail angels for 18 years. It really takes a special person to selflessly commit to so many people each year on such a full time basis, serving up to 50 people at a time! They were both just wonderful folks.
We can’t wait to get down to Kickoff this weekend and have the best time ever. We weren’t originally planning on going because we didn’t want to take three days off for it, but we’ve been convinced! I will make sure to take tons of photos of Buddy and if you’ll be there too come find us and say hello and we will take photos of you too!