Well nothing too exciting, certainly no helicopters, but the last few hiking days have been fantastic! The hiking has felt really good, the views have been amazing, and the company is awesome. Leaving Big Bear Lake with a few extra Taco Bell crunchwrap supremes, and a PBR in my pack, we hiked into the hills, then opted out of the detour and risked our lives on the official Deep Creek PCT. By risking our lives, I really mean, hiking a fairly decent and easy trail that posed little risk, with a few rock slides to cross with caution, but rewarded us greatly with a soak in the hot springs, literally trailside. Yes, the obligatory naked old guy was there, but he was fairly low key about his scroggin and I was willing to ignore it to soak my bones and sip my PBR.
Oh and it would seem that now is the best time to admit that I fell into my first river. It was incredibly small and un-threatening, yet I was not paying attention and I stepped onto a wet rock, slipped, and fell into the deep pool of water next to a tumbling waterfall. However, I discovered that my camera is indeed waterproof, and my GPS can withstand significant splashing! I might however be doomed for the larger, faster, and significantly more dangerous river crossings that are to come in the Sierras...
The next significant event of the trail was spent at a very hiker-friendly place: McDonalds. We planned our hike to hit the breakfast menu, then transitioned into the lunch options. I had a fairly disappointing showing with only about 2000 calories, but our birthday boy, Alex, took the cake for his 27th birthday with over 4000 calories. Oh and this guy can run a 2:40 marathon and has the most amazing calves I have ever hiked behind. Once we were all in pain and incapable of hiking, we shifted next door to the gas station, laid out on their lawn and split a 6 pack of Sam Summer. This hiking business is tough work! (Well actually the next 8 miles straight up were incredibly miserable and I'd make better life choices next time...)
And now I sit in Wrightwood, 369 miles done, hanging out at a fantastic trail angel's house with 9 other hikers, relaxing and really appreciating everything and everyone around me.