Saturday, May 2, 2015

Day 9 : PCT Mile 179

Saturday May 2, 2015
25 Miles Today
189 Total Miles
Morning Sun hits my tent
What does a great day hiking look like? What elements, if included, make it a great hiking day? Well, it would need to have great views, include a stop at a store, a shower, wash your clothes, eat a meal at a table like a civilized person, challenging trail, route finding, oh and poop on a real toilet. If you have any three of these then it is a great hiking day. What if you have all of them? It's a super-duper, totally excellent hiking day, of something. That was today.
Road Closed
Rather than hitchhike into Idylwild, I decided to hike the unofficial Mt Fire alternate. Boy I am glad I did! Not only do I have a contiguous set of footsteps from the border, I had all of the stuff above happen too! What an eventful day. I am only about three miles back from where I planned on finishing prior to knowing about the Mt Fire closure. Tomorrow is looking like a day for the record books if all goes well. I want to make it to Ziggy and The Bear's tomorrow which will make tomorrow a thirty two mile day. 
The beginning of a long tough climb

The toughest and most exhilarating thing that happened today was making it to the top of Tahquitz Peak to the fire lookout. It was a long climb that began right after lunch and went on and on and up and up, switchback after switchback. Not only is it a physical challenge it's a mental one too. I can't allow myself to celebrate until I  reach the top. If I  even begin to feel excited, that's it, disapointment and despair set in when I realize there is more to go. I keep telling myself, "this trail goes on and on for ever, just take another step." By the end I had burned through all of my snacks and was running on shear will and desire alone. My body is my slave it will do what I want no matter how tired it is. No matter the pain, just keeping drinking water. One more step. Reach high it's a big rock, turn the corner, keep going, don't stop breath in breath out, consistent step, go, go. Mentally I play that tape over and over for five hours and a couple of thousand vertical feet. I did it! Yes!

I camped on a tiny spot off the trail on the ridge to the left

Alternate trail

One mile road walk past Girl Scout camp

Crossing the highway

Magnificent trees!

Looking back down 
Yay, the top

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