Monthly Archives: April 2014


I need to learn acceptance especially of the trail. There is nothing I can do to change the trail. Instead I have to change myself. I must accept the trail as it is. If the trail goes up then I have to climb it. If the trail is rocky then I must cross it. It is not only the physical trail, but it is also the environment of the trail. If the weather is windy or snowy I need to accept that, adapt and continue to make progress. The trail always wins. Although I might think or dream about changing the trail. There is little likelihood this will even happen. Instead I must learn to accept the trail as it is. I must stop dreaming of possibilities and accept the reality in which I reside. Through this acceptance the journey of a lifetime can unfold. Each day I can see subtle seasonal changes occurring. I stand in awe of the majestic beauty of nature as I hike this national scenic treasure.


The kindness of strangers

For the past day I have been treated royally at the home of trail angels, Papa Smurf and Mt. Mama. They and their son have driven me to the store for resupplies, fed me dinner and breakfast, provided me a shower for my body and washer for my clothes, and a bed (bunk) to sleep in. There are six hikers in all staying here. Although I did not take advantage of it, they also provided foot baths and foot massages. To these sweet people I owe great thanks.


UPDATE: thank you Coppertone for the creme soda float today. It was scorching hot and to have you there on the roadside giving out floats to passing thru-hikers was wonderful and boosted my spirits.

Blow downs

While climbing yet another mountain, this one being San Gorgonio I encountered these trees that have recently been blown down by the wind or a storm, AKA, blow downs. There are three ways to get by them: climb over, climb under, or walk around.


Thanks to trail crew volunteers who work diligently to maintain the trail, here is what “after” looks like.


Poodle dog bush

Something akin to poison ivy, oak or sumac. You do NOT want to touch this stuff. I carefully slide by it whenever it is on the trail.


Update: And it has a very distinctive smell.

Tent Repaired!

I got down from San Jacinto mountain at 7:30 PM to find no nearby campsites. I found on the maps I’m carrying that there are trail angels, Ziggy and the Bear, five trail miles away. I phoned and they said they’d drive over and pick me up. A few other hikers were there too. One said she had tent repair tape. So this morning I fixed my tent. Such luck… Yea!


Climbing up and up

After staying overnight at the Idyllwild Inn they provided me a ride to the Devil’s Slide trailhead at 8:30 AM. Then it was up up up. Here is a picture of the Devil’s Slide.


After climbing for I while I could look down on it.


There was one other thing: the weather report said WINTER STORM ADVISORY and HIGH WINDS ADVISORY for that evening. So I wanted to get up and to a relatively safe spot at Fuller Ridge. Well I arrived at 4 PM and hunkered down with my tent. Next the wind started to blow, then it started to snow heavily. I felt fine. I was warm, I had shelter, food and water. As it snowed I would tap the tent to have it slide off, but I didn’t realize that it was building up on all the edges. At 2:15 AM I heard a loud pop, and a 8 inch hole was in my tent. Nothing could seal it – not even duct tape. So for an hour or more I held a plastic bag over it with my hand from the inside while I nodded off and on. Finally the snowing stopped so I tried to sleep a little. At dawn it was still awful out. Finally some sun appeared and I decided to pack up and hike on at 11:30 AM. Luckily two other hikers had found the snow covered trail and I followed their tracks down to lower elevation where there was no snow.




I encountered these signs today. The trail legally is blocked off by the Forest Service at mile 162 and resumes at 178. If you get caught in the blocked-off area you could get a $2500 fine, and rumor on the trail is that two hikers did – ouch! Each hiker is choosing what to do. I am being somewhat pure (anal) about hiking all the trail. So today I hiked to the blockage, and then I took a detour and went off trail and hiked down Cedar Springs trail. Then I road walked highway 74 for 8 miles until I was completely exhausted where highway 243 breaks off for Idyllwild. Walking highway 74 was a bit sketchy since it didn’t have shoulders and was a curvy mountain road. There I hitched into Idyllwild high high back up into the mountains. I never would have had the energy to road walk highway 243. Now I’m in the Idyllwild Inn for the night and back on the trail tomorrow.