Well, it's been an interesting 10 days...
We've had zero service, and were cursing Verizon from the start of the trail. When we arrived in Big Bear, we realized that Katie's phone was broken. We hit the Verizon store and paid through the nose for a new phone. Good news is, we can keep in touch now!
LEAN INTO IT
One of our fellow hikers keeps saying "lean into it." This is a pretty solid motto for any through-hiker. A few of the climbs we have had on this trail have been painful. There are some days where we ascend over 6000ft in elevation. The reward for each climb however, priceless.
We had heard of some clothing optional hot springs right off the trail and thought "what the hey..." We decided to night-hike for a few hours in order to get a bit closer. The following day was Friday and we figured we would try to beat the weekend crowd.
We were welcomed by a semi-lucid "shaman" who offered us tea and foot rubs with vitamin E oil. When he realized that we could not be convinced to partake in either, he offered up a warm MGD. We never pass on beer... The pools were pretty neat, but the area was pretty grimey.
Kids in their early twenties littered the ground, hungover from the night before, surrounded by crushed cans and empty liquor bottles. An interesting array of humans, nude, trying to hide the fact that they were checking each other out. I'll save you the pain of description or photos. It seems as though, for the most part, attractive people keep their cloths on.
I managed to step on a bee on our way down to one of the pools. I figure the shaman put some bad ju-ju on my feet because i wouldn't let him touch them... If you have not experienced the pleasure of a bee sting on the arch of your foot, you haven't lived! The joy lasted nearly a week...
On our way out we we came across the biggest rattlesnake i have ever seen. This sucker was a little over four feet in length and about two and a half inches in diameter. Again, photos do it no justice...
We spent the remainder of the day hiking out of the canyon, scared $h!tless, hitting every bush to ensure there were no sneaky snakes hiding within. blah...
When we made our way down we met two other awesome hikers, Beer Muffin & Hunter. We made our way to a reservoir slipway and found that it had a wonderful echo! Beer Muffin saw the guitar and decided that we had make a music video.
That night we slept on the shore of a river, surrounded by cottonwoods and the stars.
The following day was by far the worst day of the trip. Hot, steep, and very exposed... That is all I have to say about that.
We finally made it to El Cajon Pass where we feasted on burgers and fries.
McDonalds is amazing, and so are their double doubles. Never thought I'd say that...
We look homeless. When you hike long distances, you start to look a little hobo-ish.
People offer you money... Take it... When people find out what it is that you're doing, they want to support your adventure...
People look at you strange when you fill your water bags in public bathrooms.
We smell pretty bad
We are losing weight. Katie has lost 10 lbs and I have lost 13. Best exercise routine ever.
MORE PHOTOS... WHY NOT...
It was a 23 mile day to the Blue Ridge campground just above Wrightwood, where we planned to resupply the following day. After such a long day, you really begin crossing your fingers for a trail magic beer. Now, everyone knows you can't go hoping for trail magic; hoping for magic repels it... Just when we had accepted the fact that we would not be getting a beer, in rolled Bren on her totally rad scooter.
Bren had beer. Bren is a bad ass.
After a strange stint in Wrightwood, we hit the trail. Mt. Baden-Powell still had some serious snow, so we decided to take the alternate route. The Manzanita Trail led us safely around the snow.
The trail is a beautiful place. You tend to get lost in your head; for hours you put one foot in front of the other, shifting through thoughts. Convoluted directions lead you to wonder if you are traveling in the right direction; who cares if you are... You stride thousands of feet above pockets of civilization. Watch cars flying down highways, their drivers racing from one worry to another. At times, when the wind is strong, crows hang in the sky, motionless.
This post is getting retarded long...
We'll check in when we hit Tehachapi...
I can't type another word.