October 23, 2005

Pacific Crest Trail Hike

We started at 8pm off Highway 18 (free parking) and hiked by the moonlight for 5 miles. It was incredible! We went to sleep (on our comfy PILLOWS & EXTRA LONG sleeping pads) at around 10pm. We woke up just before hiker noon and spent the next 6 hours walking 15 more miles. Yes, that's right *name* - 15 MILES in 6 hours!! The PCT near Big Bear Lake was unbelievably EASY...huge switchbacks!! We kept laughing because every time we came to a turn in the trail, our natural instinct was to take the hard way - straight up...instead we'd take a sharp turn and continue on our lazy stroll in the woods! And best of all? The PAY-OFF was incredible!!

We decided that for any LA Patagonia-clad yuppies that we met, we had been hiking since Mexico and were well into a month on the trail. :) One lady yelled, "WHAT? You've been hiking for a month?!" Yep, and we've lost some weight too.

The bad news is two-fold. First, since our hike together in recently drenched NH, I've had a re-occuring sharp pain on the left side of my stomach (closer to my waist). Since the AT hike, it becomes painful after a long walk or a hard work-out. And after 20 miles, the pain kicked in hard core. So we walked to the nearest road (a dirt track at best). After an hour, the first car drove by, stopped, and drove us all the way back to our car. Typical, right? Second, a winter storm came in a few hours later!! The snow and 30 degree temperatures would have made us stiff. We had shorts and a t-shirt for clothing!

So we headed to Big Bear Lake for some thrift shops and a sports bar. We crashed in the car, woke up to giant flakes of snow and drove back down the mountain to 75 degree sun.

It was perfect.


Keith.Drury said...

Did you turn left on that old "road" to leave the trail--before the hot springs right?

pk said...

I think it was at Sonora Pass just north of the Sierras that I waited about 4.5 hours before the first non-motorcycle drove by. Thankfully the beat up VW van picked us up! Sounds like you guys had a phenomenal time. Sorry about the shooting pain. When you look back on this jaunt in a few months or years I'm sure you'll remember the views and the companionship before the pain.

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