Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lead Jello - Day 18 (4/22/2014)

Day 18
Idyllwild to PCT Mile190.6
About 12 miles

This morning we woke up a bit later than we wanted to, 7 am, and got our things ready. It is nice being in a bed and we didn't want to get up but we had to. Since we were still in town we stopped at the Red Kettle for a delicious, reasonably priced breakfast. 

It wasn't until to 9 am that we started our short 1 mile road walk to Deer Spring trailhead. We would take this trail out of Idyllwild to where it meets back up with the PCT, a very steep 4 mile (+/-) trail. The trail kicked my ass and my legs felt like 'lead jello'. 

My calves started tightening up on the road walk despite me telling them not to. I tried to slow my pace, shorten my gate, and adjust my posture but nothing seemed to help. So, when we finally got onto the trail I was already having issues. Not to mention we were coming out of town so our packs were full of food and water. Because of all of this I was forced to hike slow and we had to take many breaks along the way. 

About 3/4 of the way up we bumped into Pillsbury. She had just gotten up from eating and a nap so it was great timing. She too was hurting and hiked with us the rest of the way to the trail junction. Once there we took another break, we like taking breaks, and had something to eat. We spent close to an hour there chatting and munching. From this point forward the trail would be a little bit easier with only a few uphill sections. Our next stop would be in about three miles where there was a water source and we could fill up. 

When we got to the stream it was just a trickle, enough to get water from but not a great flow. There was another stream 0.7 miles ahead that sources said was flowing better. We did not want to take water to water so we opted to bypass this first stream and fill up at the second stream.

This second stream was the place to be. When we arrived there were 6 other thru-hikers there replenishing their water supply and taking advantage of it all to make dinner. This would mean that they could carry slightly less water into camp. Camp for us, and everyone else too, would be another 4.3 miles down the trail at a larger campground.

The 4.3 miles would mostly be a downhill hike except for a couple of brutally steep uphill sections. (Again with the going up to go down.) The wind had picked up and fog was rolling in fast off the Southern face of the mountain. It was very chilly especially when the fog would block out the sun so we hustled. Luckily we are camping on the Northern side of the mountain and the wind is a little less harsh. 

Once we got to the campground we spent some time picking a spot that had as much wind protection as we could find. Once we had the perfect spot picked out, up went the tent, and in we went to get out of the cold. We quickly changed out of our wet, sweaty clothes and started making dinner. 

Tonight's dinner was a new concoction made of pre-packaged Asian noodle dish to which we added teriyaki beef jerky and some pepper flakes. The noodles did not cook all the way but it sure was tasty. 

As we were eating dinner we were researching tomorrow's game plan and noticed an error in our calculations. From where we picked up the PCT, mile 183, to our next resupply point, mile 209, is only 26 miles. We figured we could easily do that in two 13 mile days. We did not take into account the miles we walked to get to the PCT. Therefore, we either do a 19 mile day tomorrow or we break the next section into 2 days, which we really don't have the food for.

Tomorrow will be interesting.