Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 29: Mile 277.9 - Mile 285.9 + 2.6 Miles on Cougar Crest Trail

Well, we escaped Big Bear's hiker vortex, finally. We checked out of the room, went to breakfast and returned the rental car by 9am.

We tried to hitch to the Discovery Center from Big bear Blvd but the traffic had no where to pull over even if they wanted to pick us up. We walked thru neighborhoods and took a pizza box top from a trash can and wrote 'hikers 2 trail Big Bear Discovery center' on it. As we walked across town to hwy 38 we thumbed and held up the sign but no one would stop.

We crossed Hwy 38 and immediately a woman in a high end SUV stopped for us. We tossed our things in the back and hopped in. Unfortunately I can't remember our trail angel's name, but she was a dentist and told us stories of unprepared hikers whom she had repaired teeth. She dropped us at the Discovery Center and after using the bathroom we headed up the Cougar Crest trail.

We stopped frequently for Josh's calves and greeted day hikers as we climbed. Eventually we arrived at the top and set out on the PCT. Immediately Josh and I felt better being on trail and putting in miles that count! We hiked for a while taking a snack break where we were passed by several horses and riders as well as a couple thru hikers.

We continued on until Josh had to stop to take a break. He had been complaining that he felt he was getting sick for a couple of days and now it seemed it was finally taking hold. We lay in the sun and rested listening to the birds and the wind in the trees. I'm sure it was more relaxing for me than him and he pounded Airborne mix in his water. After drinking the Airborne he said he felt better and we pressed on. My feet were feeling AMAZING and the trail was well graded and downhill or level all day. For me, the miles ticked by but Josh was dragging.

We arrived at Little Bear Trail Camp which is in an unusual looking pine/desert burn out area around 4pm and Josh wanted to call it a day. We made a dinner of top ramen and chili mix but Josh didn't eat very much. We pitched the tent in a small clearing behind some bushes to act as a wind break and I went to the stream to get water.

The stream was flowing super slowly and I had to dip our water bag into a pool which would kick up the silt. It took me a while to filter everything and I sat with another hiker by the creek. We chatted about the trail and she asked me when I started. I told her the 5th and she gave me an astonished look followed by "oh my" which I took to be a negative comment about my pace. I told her we had a lot of problems with our feet but really I felt like I shouldn't really have to qualify my hike.

I'm sure my annoyance is more with myself for not being further along, but it is also irritating to answer the same chit-chat type questions over and over and feel like you're being judged. It's a lot like the pre-hike gear talk was and how you got flack for a heavy base weight. [rolls eyes]
Tonight I felt like I didn't want to talk to anyone on the trail ever again, a familiar feeling for me as that is pretty much my stance on humans in the cotton world too. I'm sure it will pass, I'm feeling a bit helpless about Josh as I'm sure he felt about me when I was down.

But I digress

I jumped in the tent with Josh after filtering water and we laid around for the rest of the evening. Right now it's 8:30 and I hope everyone will send Josh healing juju. We hope to make it to mile 300 tomorrow!

Sorry I'm feeling like a bit of a Debbie downer tonight.

Until then, goodnight.


  1. Hey guys, hang in there. My husband is out there a few days behind you two and he is having massive shoe issues. He's also mentioned the attitudes of some other hikers, gloating when others drop out. The PCT is not a competition and you get huge high fives for moving day after day after day... Your pace is just fine.

  2. Hope Josh is feeling better soon!!!

  3. Having a partner to share the ups and downs, good days and bad must help. I'd come up with a new creative answer, like does it really matter? Or use a riddle, find some obscure holiday or celebration for 4/5. Don't get sucked into any kind of competitive mode. Truly is HYOH but you got to sell that. Hang in and may you both feel fantastic soon.

  4. Those Judgey McJudgersons might want to watch their butts, karma has a way of turning us all into fools sooner or later.