The weather has been cooler and the views are more amazing with every day that passes along the trail.
While the AT has many parts that seem to make you question, "Is this seriously the trail, straight up there with not one switchback?" The PCT is just the opposite, long stretches of heavenly switchbacks that seem to go on forever before you reach your final destination. Buddy and I climbed our first peak of the trail by missing the PCT and instead climbing the side trail to the top of San Jacinto. Although it was not planned it was an amazing view and not too far off trail. After Ziggy and The Bears we had a few days of hot hot heat, but then as we walked along Mission Creek the weather cooled off and became a perfect 75 and partially cloudy for a few days.
It seems that our hiker hunger is now in full effect because even though we packed an extra days worth of food we seemed to be running low by the time we reached mile 250. There is a private zoo with a lion, a bear, and a tiger there that houses animals that are trained for films. We took this driveway to the road and got a ride into Big Bear to resupply. We stayed at the wonderful Big Bear Hostel that night and the next because the weather was calling for rain that evening. Instead while we were out running errands around town we began to see white fluffy flakes falling from the sky. It was 75 degrees one day, snowing the next. It dumped down so hard that we had to stay in the store for about an hour before Rock Ocean (a long trail trail angel) came along and gave us a ride back to the hostel.
We were able to get a ride from Mountain Momma, a local trail angel, back to the trail right where we left off. We packed out all sorts of food this time; croissants, cheese, cookies, blueberry cake and lots of other goodies.
Other than the first three miles this whole next section was all downhill, it was glorious. Until my knee started to hurt. I was just walking along bopping to my music and all of a sudden, BAM! knee pain. It doesn't hurt when I'm going uphill but as soon as the trail flattens out or begins to go downhill I get a sharp shooting pain. We ended our day early when the knee pain began, soaked it in Holcomb Creek, took some vitamin I (ibuprofen) wrapped it and elevated it. I've stretched it every way I can think of but it's still bothering me. In this amazing section I wanted to do 20's through I'm holding us up. Buddy is rip roaring and ready to go every day. He is doing the best out of any other hiker I've seen. No blisters, no sore muscles, and always a smile on his face. I was thankful that by the time we arrived at the hot springs, where people mostly choose to go nude, that most everyone was fully clothed. There was still one man bearing all but he was far enough away that Buddy wasn't scared for life.
I hate to admit it but I need to take a minute off the trail to rest my knee. We were so happy to hear our friend Sandy was free to pick us up from mile 314.6 at highway 173. A bunch of her friends and family came over for a 'true Spanish BBQ' and it was amazing! The best Spanish food we've ever had, hands down. It just so happens Sandy is going to REI today which works out so well because today is the last day to use your $20 member gift-cards if you have them! I want to get another pair of Injinji socks and I'm sure Dion could find a few other things we "need".
After REI we will head back to the trail from where we left off and keep trucking north. We have a pretty serious climb coming up out of the Cajone Pass and over Mount Baden-Powell so hopefully the knee will act accordingly! If not, we are thankful to have met so many amazing people around here that we always have somewhere to go if we need it.
People are already starting to talk about CDT 2015, anyone have any plans yet?