Day 11: 4/19/14, PCT Mile 183.3

Our temporary home away from home: 20140419-160041.jpg

Miles hiked today: NONE, yea a zero day!

You may be wondering how we magically transported ourselves from mile marker 151.9 to 183.3 while on a zero day. No, I haven’t perfected teleportation down the trail, a portion of the PCT is officially closed due to last year’s wildfire damage. This has been a big topic of conversation the past several days, as folks figure out how they are going to handle this new closure, as the PCTA hasn’t put out an official re-route like in other closed areas since it is so new. While there are some potential options for hiking/road walking around it, we had decided to hitch to Idyllwild from mile 151.5 then leave town via a side trail and get back to the PCT after the closure area – luckily for us, there are several ways in/out of Idyllwild. Technically we’re missing a few more miles than are officially closed due to where the road crossing fell, but the master plan involves coming back here sometime in the future though probably not this year (Idyllwild is an awesome area) to climb San Jacinto peak and do the missing miles once the trail has reopened. The road walk portion was purported to be dangerous, and after having driven on the windy mountain road with no shoulders, I would not advise walking it. The alternate trails also had uncertain water and trail quality, so as none of us are “purists”, we’re fine with this decision. Definitely an example of “Hike your own hike”. We’ll be leaving town via the Deer Springs Trail, and going up to over 8000 feet for the first time on the trip! A great way to spend Easter morn, IMO.

Staying at the very appropriately named “Cosy Pine” cabin which is a great place for a zero day, and considering the holiday weekend we were happy to get this place, lots of lodging was booked yesterday as Idyllwild is a big climbing area. Knotty Pines is very hiker friendly and in a great central location. There is a kitchen, so we dived into an awesome combination of going out to eat and buying our own food. My yummy breakfast:

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The craziest thing I’ve done all day long is eat in my normal sleeping clothes – heaven forfend if I spill something on them, I’ll be tormented by Mexican and ice cream smells overnight for the next 10 days. My luck has held out so far ;). It feels utterly decadent to be in my “pajamas” all day long.

As this is a zero day, I’ve been taking stock of the status of my health and gear, calling home, visiting with hiker friends, getting chores done, and plain old being a bum. Lots of folks are having foot problems, and I’m happy (and grateful) to report that thus far I have nothing major to complain about. Minor things include a plethora of mosquito bites – there goes my vain hope that I am only loved by east coast mosquitos, oh well. I was thrilled (really) to find the soothing version of After Bite at the Idyllwild Pharmacy today.

Despite my first 4 days of gear failures, fingers crossed nothing else since then. Though, I don’t think my hiking shirt is ever doing to be yellow again.

Easter basket, trail style!

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