Monday, April 21, 2014

A Sleepless Road Walk - Day 15 (4/19/2014)

Day 15
Mile 152 to 9 miles off the PCT

Last night was an absolutely horrible night's sleep. I probably only slept for 3 or 4 hours. There were several things that I believe contributed to my sleepless night; for one there were several people who snored on the patio sleeping with me, for two there were cars driving by us all night, loud cars and motorcycles with big exhaust pipes, and for three there seems to be a lot of energy in the air.

Normally when I have a hard time sleeping I can usually go to the couch which I find helps. Not this time. I did get up and go to another section of the patio but that didn't last long. In any case I was a tired boy today and my fog-headed mind has made communication with Mandie challenging. 

Mandie and I woke around our usual time and hit the road close to 7 am. Today would be a 9 mile road walk to Lake Hemet campground. Why the road walk? The Mountain (Center) Fire closed a section of the trail that would take us to Idyllwild, so we had to take an alternate route. The alternate route that we chose took us down Hwy 74. The PCTA has yet to come up with an official alternate route. 

As we walked down the side of the road Mandie played music, we danced, I practiced my juggling, and we picked up any road-side treasures that we came across. There were lots of corralled horses, cows, dogs, a few chickens, a goat, and even a pig along side the road to make our journey that much more enjoyable. 

Close to half way through our march a US Forestry truck pulled up and a tattooed covered man hops out of the vehicle and runs across the street to where we are resting. He asks us 'if we are PCT hikers', and if we are 'hiking the highway as an alternate'. We answer 'Yes' to both questions and ask him, 'Why?' to which he replies, 'The original PCT trail is open to thru-hikers, just not to campers.'  Mandie and I both look at each other with a shocked look on our face. We were at that trailhead yesterday and there are signs up that say the trail is closed. The US Forestry man mentions this and says that he is going to work on getting those signs corrected. Mandie quickly posts an update to FB and we continued on with our walk. Whatcha going to do?!?

As I briefly mentioned earlier, you find some interesting stuff along side of a road. The two things that we kept was a small posable Bugs Bunny toy (which will probably be featured in many photos now) and a handful of DOT approved reflectors. Why the reflectors? They are like stickers and thus have an adhesive backing which we can stick to our packs and make future night hikes/road walks safer. Safety first!!! We also saw two snakes, one was dead though. 

We finally arrived at the Lake Hemet campground, which also has a small market near by, and grabbed something to eat and drink (7up and Lime Gatorade of course. Mix them and drink, it is delicious.)  Being Easter weekend we were lucky to get a camp site. We hit the store one more time to stock up on food for the night and for tomorrow's trek to Idyllwild. 

The rest of the day was spent in the tent and it was glorious. We nodded in and out of sleep, massaged each other's feet, ate, and drank the day away. Mandie was a little productive in that she did some laundry. I created a DIY clothes line for her that I am very proud of. Two trekking poles and a sleeping pad strap is all it takes. 

Despite not sleeping well it was still another glorious day on the trail and hopefully a better night's sleep tonight. Sweet dreams all.