Day 11

Miles: 131 to 151 (+ hitch to Idyllwild)

Sometimes things are too good to be true. Like a quality water in the desert. Today water report promised a nice spring about 5 miles from where we camped. Water in the cistern was suppose to have a dead rat in it so we were to take ours directly from the spring-formed creek that was flowing bellow. Well, there was a creek there, and right above it what people assumed was a perfect location to use as toilet, and quite obviously not only for number one. So our choice was between rat water, poop water, or no water at all. We decided for the last option and trudged on with only a liter of water left for each. 

It wasn’t the wisest decision considering the heat and elevation gain, and no respite from the sun. Hiking with restricted amount of water under those conditions was no fun. Most of the time I walked with my head down, stabbing my poles into the dry dirt, and only occasionally I noticed the beautiful flowers that still lined the trail. 

Small water cache at mile 143 was empty and the two miles to the next one felt very very long. We finally made it at around 1:30 pm, tired and perched after the 15 miles on the sun, and within matter of the first half hour we filtered about 6 liters and drank 3. 

At 3:30 we were ready to move again but just as we were to leave, Mary, the lady who takes care of the cache stopped by with some cold sodas and we spent another half an hour hanging with her. 

Leaving at 4:00 pm left us with only three, three and half hour at most to make it to Paradise Cafe still 7 miles away. Between us and what is said to be the best burger on the trail also stood about 800 feet of elevation gain. Luckily the sun was no less beer hot and we got cool breeze once in a while which made hiking much easier. We arrived in 3 hours 11 minutes and on the way we saw one tarantula and couple of snakes (none of us them rattler). 

Our adventure today ended up in Idyllwild. We planned to hike around the section of PCT that is closed due to fire damage from couple of years ago which would mean another 20 mile day tomorrow and I was not sure if my foot could handle the pressure of two long days back to back and splitting the distance would take us to Idyllwild just when a big storm is expected that could bring freezing temperatures (which is hard to believe after today) and even some snow.

Next few days will be interesting weather wise. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to hike fuller ridge which should be very nice but during bad weather not completely safe.