Well I know that I can be a bit of a flake at times, but waking up to ice coating everything around me in Southern Cali was a bit shocking! The afternoon before, I was lathering SPF 70 on the back of my sunburnt calves, and moaning and groaning about all the water I would have to carry. Thanks Karma.
So last night, a cold front rolled through the San Jacintos and I was hiking up there at 7000 feet or so. The wind was insanely strong, and we looked drunk trying to fight the wind and walk in a straight line at the same time. Thankfully I was with a few other cheerful hikers, since my body said "no more" and I really struggled to hike the last 5 or so miles to camp. I had hiked a 33 mile day right before trying to escape the vortex that was Warner Springs, and pushed myself to see what I could do. The 33 miles was fine, but the next day, I had no fuel left after 20 and I was slowly crumbling. We managed to get to the predetermined campsite, only to find miserable tent sites, and a few other early hikers. So tossing LNT to the 60mph gusts, I leveled a patch of hill with my heels and made a tent sized crash pad for my tarptent. A quick dinner and warm clothes made the situation better, but I discovered that my tent is not designed for high winds. Very frustrating. I see a very expensive purchase in my future...
Because of the high winds and constant freezing mist, none of us got any sleep, so the morning hike of 11 miles to Idyllwild turned us all in zombies. But I currently have a calzone in my tummy, and visions of dollar tacos in my head, thus I think all will be well in the world again!
I don't think that I will zero tomorrow in Idyllwild, though the original plan had me here for an extra day. I will try and meet up with the kids that I was hiking with pre-Warner Springs, and head out with them. It's tough to find a hiking crowd that fits your pace, so if you find one, its nice to stick to it.
I'm exhausted, proud that I challenged myself, and excited to leave Idyllwild and tackle some ice and snow on Fuller Ridge. I've got my wonderful Kahtoola KTS Alum crampons for traction, and trekking poles for stability. I've decided to forward my ice axe on to Kennedy Meadows since its not really necessary for this ridge. I need to keep forcing myself to eat more since I nearly crashed and burned yesterday, but on the whole, it feels really good to be out here!!!