Day 15: mile 161.9 to mile 168.6 to Idyllwild via Spitler Peak Trail

4.30.18. 6.7 PCT miles, 11.7 total.

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Last night was pretty rough. Thankfully my tent held up well: I staked it down good and put extra reinforcements on the door stakes, but the wind was insane. I slept for a little bit but then woke up in the middle of the night for 2 hours listening to the wind. I had some service so I tried to scroll on insta/ fb until my eyes hurt enough to close them again. Worked fairly well.

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It was difficult getting up and hiking though. It was pretty cold in the morning. We immediately started climbing up some pretty steep inclines which definitely woke me up more, but I was dragging today. I also had to conserve water since we stopped early last night and didn’t do the detour to the spring 1 mile off trail, which we were all happy about, but I only had 1 L for about 7 miles until the Spitler trail where there was water.

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I realize I also didn’t really explain why we have to take an alternate. Basically, the Mountain Fire burned near San Jacinto in 2013 and they are slowly working on getting the PCT open in these sections. Ever since then there have been detours & reroutes down side trails in order for hikers to get to Idyllwild. Many hikers hitch in to Idyllwild from Paradise Valley Cafe because it’s more convenient, but they are also missing almost 17 miles of open trail that have been opened since the original fire closure. So we wanted to hike the newly opened miles up to the Spitler Trail junction so we wouldn’t miss any open PCT miles. It’s more effort and takes longer but worth it in the end.

 Recently re-opened part of the PCT

Recently re-opened part of the PCT

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I was hurting today. My body wasn’t really feeling these big climbs and my butt is killing me. I feel like I did 5 BBG leg workouts in a row. I guess it’s good because I’m building muscle though. I was so happy when we got to the Spitler Trail junction. We took a break and then started down the side trail for about 4.5 miles. It was all mostly downhill and we all sang Disney songs to keep us occupied while doing the long descent.

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Once we finally got to the bottom we road walked for a little bit until we got a hitch to Idyllwild! We were so happy. The man who picked us up was so nice! And he’s actually the head chef at VVR in the Sierra: one of our potential resupply points! He was really great to talk to and a super friendly guy. He wanted our picture bc he was documenting all the hikers he had been giving rides to! So sweet & cool memories for him as well.

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Getting to Idyllwild was amazing. And our cabin is awesome. It’s huge and even has a kitchen! I got to take my first really legitimate shower of the trail here. I used a whole entire soap bar washing my body & the water never got cold. It was amazing! This town is also so cute & hiker friendly. So happy we are zeroing here tomorrow!

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