Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 16: Lake Hemet to Idyllwild, Adventures in Road Walking

Josh and I slept surprisingly well in spite of the noisy campground. We woke to a soggy tent at 6am. I quickly packed up my sleeping bag before the condensation dripped into the tent from our movements. We were packed up and walking at 7am, as per usual. We went to the store on our way out and bought some breakfast before starting our walk up the road.

We made a right into Hurkey Creek camp and used the bathroom before following Halfmile's instructions for the alternate route to Idyllwild. We successfully found the BMX route he took that followed HWY 74 and hiked for a few miles amongst purple, pink and yellow flowers amidst the shimmering grasses. This was the epitome of a perfect EasterSunday.

The trail turned away from the road so we bushwhacked across a meadow and jumped an iron gate to resume walking up HWY 74. My second toes were hurting, probably from slamming on the hard pavement and I had to sit down on the side of the road. Josh took my feet in his hands and rubbed them for a while as the passing cars looked at us with confusion. My feet have been feeling great until about mile 8 on the trail when I feel like my toe bones are going to pop out thru my toenails. It's confusing to me because it happens on the lift as opposed to the strike and I'm not sure what to do but take it easy and hope it subsides. This is the same toes that were involved in the pressure blisters and I know they are related.

We diverted from the road at McCall Park road and took another break for my feet at the day use horse area. I took out my gel insoles to see if that would help but it didn't really make a difference. As we were relaxing a group of equestrians on their way out of the park asked us if we needed anything, which I thought was nice. We told them we were ok and they waved. We headed back up the road until it ended and turned into a trail, just as Halfmile had said. We followed the trail toward hwy 243 and the heat of the day was not making it an easy task.

We crossed hwy 243 and climbed what looked like an animal trail to a county tree processing area and then onto a dirt service road. We saw two horned toads, one right after the other. They were nearly white and very small. We tried to catch them but they were too fast for us and Josh was disappointed.

We arrived at Saunders Meadow Rd. And looked at the map, trying to decide on a back street route that wasn't going to be a big windy mess. We couldn't come up with a more direct route than hwy 243 and we were both hurting, so we decided to take our chances walking it. We were passed the really scary areas and the shoulder was only narrow in a couple spots.

At last we passed into the city limits and I started to get hungry! I wanted a salad and a pizza in the worst way. About a mile out of town a man pulled over and offered us a ride but we thankfully declined, explaining we needed to have these miles to fulfill our goal. He understood and gave us directions to our hotel and we thanked him before he drove away.

In town there were signs everywhere welcoming PCT hikers and people with full packs, on their way out to the trail. We had intentionally tried to miss the weekend brewhaha and it looked like we were successful. We made a beeline for the Idyllwild Pizza Company but when we arrived we were greeted by a sign that read. "closed for easter" maaaaaannnn. I really wanted pizza!

We wandered toward downtown looking for other options when I heard someone yell my name. I turned to see Pillsbury running toward me and I was happy to see her! We talked about the reroute for a while and met her boyfriend before saying goodbye.

Josh and it tried one restaurant but the menu wasn't what we were craving and we went to a bar and grill down the street for burgers and fries before checking into our room. Once in the room we showered and unpacked our wet tent and bags to dry. We spent the rest of the day horizontal, uploading photos to the internet and eating!

Right now it's 10pm and I am ready for a long, cozy sleep. Tomorrow we'll do mundane chores and cruise the town.

Until then, goodnight!

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