Sunday, April 27, 2014

Look At All Of These Beautiful Vistas - Day 23 (4/27/2014)

Day 23
Mile 235.5 to mile 249.7
14.2 miles

Let's see here... This morning was a continuation of yesterday, rough.

We set the alarm on our phone to get us up at 5a but somebody turned the alarm off instead of pressing snooze. No big loss there, who doesn't enjoy an extra hour of sleep.

Hitting the trail around 7 am,  my calves were up to their usual pain in the... calves again. But this morning there was something extra to add to the misery, I was not feeling well. I felt like I was coming down with a cold and we had to do close to 15 miles today. Things were not looking well. 

The first 5 miles of our hike was all uphill. I had to stop many times to let my calves calm down but not long after I would start walking again they would tighten up and start burning again.

I am not sure what to do about my calves and I am open to any suggestions. I do stretch and it doesn't seem to help a whole lot. I am naturally a tight person, and not very flexible. Tonight, I did some stretching when we were done hiking to see if it will help me in the morning.

We stopped for water towards the end of this 5 mile section. It would be our last water source for the next 25 miles, so it was important that we fill up. Like yesterday, Mandie was in charge of filtering water while I found a place to dig a cat hole. :-) While there we also ate a snack and drank as much water as we could. 

When it was time to push on we packed up, put our packs on and headed up the hill. I started to notice something odd happening with my pack. I could feel the load shifting against my back which I had never felt before. I thought something was sliding down between my back and my sleeping bag, which compresses so I didn't think much of it. A few minutes later I noticed that my lower back and bottom of my pack was wet. 

Oh snap, my bladder is leaking! 

I quickly got my pack off and got everything out of it as fast as I  could so I could get my bladder out. The tube was still attached and there was no evidence that there was a hole in it. In fact, when we last got water neither of us took my bladder out of my pack. So, I am not exactly sure what happened to make it leak. In any case, I now had to make the schlep back to the last water source to fill up my bladder. I was not a happy camper. 

Once we reached the top of the mountain I started to feel better. My cold symptoms seemed to go away, they were probably from allergies, and the flat/downhill part gave my calves a much needed rest. Also, we were now at a high enough elevation to be walking in snow patches which was fun and probably helped to take my mind off my body. 

As the day progressed I felt better and better. We enjoyed amazing views of a snow covered San Gorgonio Mtn. and San Jacinto Mtn., and Palm Springs. All of which we had just come from days ago. It blows me away to see how far we have come. 

When we reached Coon Cabin we took a short break to check it out and have a snack. While we were resting an SUV pulled up and four men jumped out. Three of them came over to talk to us while the fourth laid in the back and rested. The three men were amazed at what we were doing and asked all kinds of questions. They soon went off to check out the old cabins and we returned to our snacks. When the men return Mandie asked them if they had any water to spare. They said, 'Yes. We have only been drinking the beers in the cooler and have lots of water.' They gave us a gallon of water and drove off. Score! 

Another vehicle shows up on the scene and two men hop out and survey the area. They ask us about our trip and even take our picture. It is like we are celebrities. When they start to leave they offer us a couple of Gatorade. Double score on the trail magic!  

Mandie and I split a Gatorade and offer the other one to another hiker who showed up. We take two liters of the water and leave the rest for hikers that are behind us. We believe in good karma and know this type of generosity will come back around when we need it most. 

We are now tucked away in our sleeping bags on a very cold and blustery evening. About ten minutes ago we heard the sound of a bear or tiger, yes tiger, off in the distance. It scared the crap out of us and we both sat straight up. There are wild bear in the area but what we probably heard was from the private zoo that is not far from where we are camping. At least that is what we are going to believe it is from so we can sleep tonight. We will pass by this zoo tomorrow which from what I understand is kind of sad. These amazing animals in small cages for the rest of their lives. I believe they are animals that were in the motion picture industry. 

On that happy note, I bid you a roaring good night. :-P