I slept no more than an hour last night, partly because the wind was so fierce the sheer noise kept me awake, but also because the bottom of my tent came unpegged and the structure collapsed over my legs. This meant I had to sleep in a fetal position in the middle of the tent to avoid the fly whipping into my sides.
Everyone slept pretty badly but my tent was definitely in the worst shape this morning. It was still so windy that we hit the trail without having breakfast, also because we were extremely low on water and still 2 miles from the next stream.
We still had to climb higher, so much so we crossed one patch of snow. Man the Sierra’s are going to be a challenge, luckily it’s been a low snow year. I’m going to have to acclimatise to the colder weather soon, I was too spoiled by the Melbourne summer this year!
There were seven of us heading down the Devil’s Side Trail into Idyllwild this morning. We were moving at a pace somewhere between a fast walk and a run as our packs were light without any food left and minimal water. The hike back up tomorrow is going to be very tough with 7 days of food and lots of water. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it as I sit by the fire in my cosy cabin.
When we got to the bottom of the trail the other five went ahead and luckily Chris and I were able to get a ride really quickly with a man named Brad. Once in town we hunted down Wendy and the cabin and were suddenly overwhelmed by the sight of a shower and a real bed. As we headed to the Red Kettle for breakfast I realised how much we were struggling with re-entry into the ‘real world’. Crossing the road, deciding what to eat, communicating with non hikers was suddenly more difficult than expected. We were both struck with sensory overload and more than excited by fresh coffee and steak and eggs for breakfast.
Although I was running on very little sleep I still had many tasks to complete after a long, slow breakfast. First stop shower, then laundry, then to the gear store to purchase new tips for my hiking poles, toe socks to stop blisters and more moleskin. Then it was off to the post office. My resupply box was extremely heavy with 7 days of food and I carried it across town to the supermarket and hardware store to buy HEET before remembering that BJ had sent me my special cream from Igor for my sore shoulder. Luckily I went back to the post office because they actually had another package for me from Belinda and Josh. When the lady handed them over I almost got teary. I can tell you that emotions are extremely heightened out here and acts of kindness mean so much when you’re surviving off so little.
I found myself a new t-shirt in the hiker box today which says ‘Wild and Free’, very fitting and perfect for when all my hiking clothes are in the laundry. Chris found himself a pair of shorts but unfortunately they were contaminated with poison oak and he broke out in a huge rash.
I bumped into Acid Glasses again at the post office so we all went to get pizza tonight. I went into OCD mode this evening trying to repack my bag with new supplies. Tomorrow morning Dr Sole is popping in for breakfast and then it’ll be back to the trail. I’ve got to say the transition back and forth is still quite a challenge.