Monday, May 4, 2015

Day 16 - down to desert floor, mile 186.1 to 205.7 19.6 miles

Up late again! Argh. Hiking at about 0700. Ludicrously late start. Fill up with three liters water each for the downhill slog to the desert wasteland below. I said aloud "if I'm going to get blisters, its going to be today" but still had high hopes for my feet.  Down down down, large ice chunks falling from the thawing trees. Quite dangerous actually. Running past trees, screaming when I hear the ice falling down on top of me. Funny too, but some of those chunks were the size of softballs! Down down down out of the trees back into the scrub brush, cactus, and snakes. Find a boulder with real shade and take a lunch break. Air out our feet, take a nap. Still at elevation, so hot in the sun, but so cold in the shade we put our fleece, hat, gloves, and puffys on. Kind of silly really. Fun to look back up at my San Jacinto as we go to see how far we've come. Couldn't see it from the idyllwild side, so did t have a view of it until after we climbed it and went down the other side. Mountains are funny like that sometimes.  Getting late. Meet rebel biscuit and stone foot, nice people. Hike with rebel biscuit for awhile. Make it to mile 200!!! Yay. No blisters... Rest at next shade and rebel biscuit moves on. We think she's out of water and its five more miles to go. Make it to about mile 202, and blammo! Blister city. Pace slowed to a hoble trying to salvage my feet. Still have water but not enough to dry camp, so Down Down down we go. Finally roll into the drinking fountain area at about 8:45. The water is warm. Not tepid, but warm. Set up tent, eat, get more water. Meet Joe Dirt. Comes running to the drinking fountain at 9pm panting. We all try to help get him going with rehydrating. Come to find out he had started in idyllwild that morning, climbed mount san jacinto, and come all the way down in one day! That was 34ish hard assed miles with serious elevation gain and loss. We will never see that guy again I'm sure, because his miles are huge!  Ladies camping near us are laughing about all the tarantulas coming out of the holes in the dirt. I cover my ears, close my eyes, and sing "LA LA LA , I can't hear you!". Good night.

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