GETTING INTO A ROUTINE - THE COACHELLA VALLEY TO WRIGHTWOOD, 160 MILES
After 30 days on the trail, today is our first "zero", which is basically a day off from hiking, and resting our sorry butts. Jack and I are staying at a quaint motel in the small mountain town of Wrightwood, about 30 minutes north of the Indland Empire (Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana). My feet have been healthy up until the last few days and now are in need of drying out and healing.
We have been putting more miles in now that we have our trail legs on, and have been doing a good job averaging somewhere around 18 miles a day for the past week. We have gotten somewhat into a rhythm of waking up, taking the tent down, packing, and hitting the trail. It is becoming "normal".
In 2017 my sons and I hiked the he John Muir Trail and met Tina, who we have stayed in touch with since. Tina was kind enough to purchase some REI gear and met us at Cajun Pass off I-15 and brought us gobs of fruit and gear along with her dog Topo. I've been wearing Altra shoes with a large toe box that gives my wide feet extra room, but not a lot of cushion. So I put on a new pair of Hokas and the bottoms of my feet have been happy. After leaving Cajun Pass we gained about 5,000' in 20 miles and Mr. Pinky developed a second or third layer of blisters that I didn't know were there until I began cutting away this morning..... no wonder my toe was hurting! Long story short, a zero day is healthy for the body and soul.
We are beginning to cover a lot of ground and are in a rhythm.
At every turn there is beauty and the next adventure.
There are lots of fun people on the trail.
True Trail Angels are awsome. Thank you for the Gator Aid, rides to and from town, stocking water caches, and being a light.
Not finding a motel and roaming around the neighborhood looking for a place to sleep for the evening, ending up close to the trail and throwing a mat and bag down indiscreetly.
I miss special people at home.
If you hike or backpack you know there is trail etiquette, especially when it comes to Leave No Trace. I'm surprised by many newer hikers that seem to lack that knowledge or experience. It's a little disheartening.
Blisters on blisters.
Troy gets cranky when his toes hurt, especially when he is hungry.
Taking a break to cool off feet.
Finding a place for the evening and feeling like a Troll.
Tina and Topo brought fresh fruit and gear in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Water cache in the middle of nowhere, supplied by thoughtful Trail Angles.
Jack captuing the view.
End of the day, descending the mountain into Wrightwood.
Hikers hang out at Jensen's Grocery Store in Wrightwood, CA. A hospitable town for PCTers..... it was a PCT convention.