Day 11 – The daily temperature extremes here in the desert never cease to amaze me. We usually wake up around 6am and it’s torture to leave our sleeping bag. After a breakfast of milk & cereal for me & cold grits for Dan we pack up and are usually on the trail by 7am, still bundled up against the frigid air. But within the hour the sun’s come up over the mountains and we are boiling hot and have to de-layer.
Today it seemed hotter than usual, though, and our lunch break only seemed to zap more energy out of us. In the distance we’d get glimpses of the snowy San Jacintos, but around us it was hot chaparral and cacti. That night we camped near a water cache on Table Mountain and met ∏ (Pie) a ’09 thru hiker who was hiking from highway 74 south down to Campo to train. I can’t imagine doing that 150 or so miles and then turning around and wanting to do it again when it’s even hotter… but it was great to meet another thru-hiker.
Day 12 We decided to hitch from highway 74 (Pines to Palms) to Idyllwild because a) our guidebook only went to highway 74 and we were picking up the next section in Idylwild b) a snow storm was forecast for the San Jacintos and c) this way we’d avoid the ridiculous elevation gain/loss of the Devil’s Slide, the trail we were planning on taking into the Idyllwild.
And so that’s where we’ve been the past few days… waiting on snow. We’re eager to get back on the trail but Idyllwild is such a friendly and cool town. Plus we got to slack-pack yesterday… and tomorrow we’ll be off again!