Monday, May 4, 2015

Day 17 - Mile 205.7 to 218.6 plus .6 bonus miles = 13.5 miles

woke up at the water fountain at 0450. Getting better! Moving by 0530, but fits and starts, stopping for various morning chores...5 miles to the famous Ziggy and the Bear trail angels. We arrived at the turnoff to their house at 0800, but decided to skip it as my feet were hurting bad, and it was getting hot. We wanted to get a few more miles in to the next water source, La Mesa Wind Farm, before it got really really really hot. Well, it was really really hot by 0900, and we arrived at our rest stop at 1030. They invited us in for cold water. Apparently the water out of the tap was found to have uranium, so they were discouraging PCT hikers from using their hose, and instead had bought cases of water and were giving them out, and letting us sit in the airconditioned lunch room for awhile. Some workers came in for their lunch break at 1100. We were filthy and stinky, so a little self conscious sitting in their with them. They were super friendly, and we quizzed them about what work they did on the Wind Farm (Crane operator and laborers, replacing the turbine blades. Pretty cool.) We then sat under their shade tree until 2pm when their work day was ending. They had to close the gate, but they had started building a shade palapa outside the gate, and left another case of water in it for other hikers arriving after hours. Super duper nice people, did I mention that? So we sat under the palapa until after 4 pm, almost 6 hours waiting out the heat basically. Meanwhile we met Thermometer, a South Korean who speaks no English. We managed to force him into a "conversation" anyways, and he offered to take our picture for us. We finally left, and it was a hot hike up a steep hillside. Glad to be walking it in the late afternoon then the heat of the day. My (robin's) blisters were killing me, and it was slow going. Finally left the views of I-10 and the wind farm, and made it deeper into the desert foothills, with Mt San Jacinto always looming across the way, reminding me of why my feet hurt. Saw Zig Zag. I was deep in thought about the subway sandwich and Del Taco veggie burritos I would eat at Cajon Pass a few weeks from then when he overtook me. I told him that since nobody had given me a trail name yet, I would call myself "Cerveza Frio", 'cause who wouldn't want that trail name? After going up, of course we had to go around and around, then down down down to the river. We almost camped right there at the river, but we decided to keep going to the Whitewater Preserve, where the ranger lets PCT hikers camp for free under the trees. It was a great park with a wading pool, flush toilets and everything. Unfortunately we arrived so late we didn't make use of the wading pool, but we did soak our feet, charge our phones, and have a nice dinner at the picnic table. After falling dead asleep, I wake hours later to Grant shouting. It was a f'ing raccoon trying to get my bag. I had put all the food in the tent but had left some snacks in the hip belt. I screamed at the raccoon, and snatched my bag back putting it into tent. Also put my shoes in the tent as I was panicked they would drag those off too. Bastards. I had nightmares all night about the raccoons circling our tent (I think they were) and of a puma chewing on grant and I. Last year I hiked with some people, and one lady had lost all her food. I think it must have been here, but she was convinced it was the local bobcat. I think whatever the animal it was, it had taken all her food and her stove and stuff too. With three or four days to go, pretty bad, but her friends all helped her out. Anyway, that's where the cat chewing on us came into the dreams I think. Ok, good night, sleep tight, don't let the raccoons bite.

pictures on instagram

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