Daily miles 17
Total miles 209
We woke up to a sky colored by a beautiful sunrise. We were able to enjoy the sight of the sun peaking over the horizon as we were eating our breakfast. It was a nice way to start the day.
We headed out of camp at 6:15 and started our big decent down to the desert floor. The trail was mostly good, although there were some stretches in the morning where it seemed like the trail was sliding down the mountain. It must be hard to maintain a trail that is mostly made of sand and rock along a steep side of a mountain. But, the trail got better throughout the morning. As the sun came up, it got pretty warm on the trail, as it was very exposed. We all had to conserve our water, so when we finally got to the bottom of the mountain (12 miles into the day) we were all very parched and excited for the running water in the water faucet.
We hung out there for a bit, trying to squeeze into the small bit of shade next to a boulder. Finally we decided it was time to walk the final five miles of the day. We knew it was going to be rather flat-ish heading to a small community where two Trail Angels have opened their home to PCT hikers.
The walk was grueling, first on a paved road and then on a sandy trail in brutally intense sun. We ended up taking our sleeping pads and putting them over our heads to get a bit of protection from the sun. The miles seemed so long since we felt like we were baking in the sun.
We ended up taking a break under an overpass for I-10 and sat for a bit in the shade. Then, as luck would have it, two former thru-hikers came and set up trail magic for us. They had sandwiches, cookies, chips, beers and sodas. It was really kind of them and just the boost we needed to get back out in the heat and finish the day.
When we got to Ziggy & The Bear’s (noted PCT Trail Angels), we noticed that their thermometer read 100 degrees in the shade! We learned that we could get a ride to the San Bernardino bus station and from there take a bus right up to Big Bear Lake (going north, there is a closure for several miles so the PCTA suggests bypassing that whole section by car). So, we left after about forty minutes and got a ride with a trail volunteer to the bus station.
Once arriving in Big Bear City, the bus driver was kind enough to drive us right to Motel 6. We are all super beat, but feeling good after showers and laundry. We have some errands to run tomorrow and then we’ll hopefully get a chance to relax. We will definitely stay at least one more night. We are looking forward to some down time in a cool location.