​Day 22: mile 246.5 to mile 266.1 to Big Bear Lake

5.7.18. 19.6 miles.

Today we woke up at 5 and got hiking by 6:15. This may be TMI but it’s been super annoying having to go poop first thing in the morning because it just slows me down getting ready.

Kristie and I were still unsure if we would make it to Big Bear today. I started off slower, my calves were super tight and the blisters on my left foot, specifically my left heel, were bothering me. All of the issues are on my left foot, my right foot is 100% ok.

The morning went decently fast. I hiked with Angie for most of the morning & we talked about working at REI. We passed mile 250, and a sad animal zoo where they keep grizzly bears and tigers and the like for movies. There was a sign there that said they’re moving the animals to a place with more space but it’s a very bizarre sight on the trail. The land is also for sale, hopefully the PCTA can buy it and sell it back to the government to preserve the trail.

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I met up with everyone at our lunch rest stop at 10:30 and downed some food. I had been thinking about getting food in Big Bear for most of the morning and Kristie and I decided that we were definitely getting to Big Bear today! We had another 9.5 miles to hike to the highway, but we were going to get it done! Thankfully the trail wasn’t too strenuous and it was fairly pretty. I’m happy Helen, Angie, and Jay (and Tara!) were hiking with us and also trying to get to Big Bear today!

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I was the caboose again today, going slow and steady for the last miles. I definitely needed to turn to my music to get me through. Until I caught up to Jay & Angie & Tara and then they were my entertainment. We met a couple of horseback riders on the trail, and also mountain bikers *ugh*. The mountain bikers were super annoying because they said they “knew” bikes were prohibited on the PCT but didn’t care. So annoying bc they were trying to be all friendly and chatty with us even after we called them out. I followed their bike tread all the way to the highway. We also passed mile 265, which means I’ve completed 10% of the trail! Just need to do that 9 more times to make it to Canada!

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After the final climb we were downhill until the highway! And when we were close, there was a bin full of semi-cold soda in the shade!! Trail magic!! I got an A&W cream soda. I love those & cant believe they were an option! My soda craving has increased greatly out here. I drink a soda whenever I have the opportunity. Thankfully trail angels bring soda bc I hate beer.

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We were so happy to all make it to the highway by 3:30! Kristie got news from the boys that they had rented a cabin so we had a place to sleep! We got a hitch so quickly - we didn’t even have to put our thumbs out! A super nice older couple pulled over in a huge ford truck (they were on their way back home from Costco) and told us all to pile in, even Tara! They were SO sweet and stopped at the Big Bear City post office for a few hikers to get their boxes, and then the Big Bear Lake post office, and THEN they gave us a tour of Big Bear Lake, then they dropped me & Kristie off right at the cabin, then they dropped the rest of the group off at the hostel! They chauffeured us around and didn’t take anything in return. It was so amazingly nice. They kept asking if we were all doing ok... if only they knew how happy sitting on top of dog food bags in the back of the truck made me! They showed us pictures of their (4!) Great Danes and wanted pics of us dirty hikers in their truck. They were the best!

And when we got to the cabin we were amazed! Kristie and I have a king bed to share in a huge room with a tv! And we have laundry! We immediately changed out of our clothes & started the wash with our things, then took showers, then ordered Thai delivery!

I am now soaking my feet in ice cold water (thanks John for getting me a bag of ice at the corner store) because they are so swollen from all the big days! It’s 9 pm already and I am absolutely beat. I’m so happy to be taking a zero tomorrow, and I hope to get a good nights sleep!

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